The government has struck a funding deal with Scotland, Wales and Northern for the upcoming apprenticeship levy.
The apprenticeship levy will come into force from 6 April 2017 and is payable by all employers operating in the UK with an annual pay bill over £3M.
The policy is devolved with the new agreed deal providing the devolved administrations with a population share of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s latest apprenticeship levy forecast that was published in March this year.
The government say the deal delivers on their pledge to give the devolved nations with a fair deal based on population share.
The devolved governments will be given funding certainty, as the UK government will manage any difference between the levy forecast and actual levy revenues. The deal will have no effect on the arrangements already in place in England.
In England, the levy will fund increased and improved apprenticeship training.
The devolved administrations will now make the decision how to allocate this funding to their devolved responsibilities.
Back in August, the Scottish Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn criticised the UK government’s Apprenticeship Levy saying that it undermines its “uniquely Scottish” approach to modern apprentices.
Mr Hepburn described the Apprenticeship Levy as a “fundamental concern” for the Scottish government and criticised the UK government for introducing the levy without first discussing the issue with Scotland, even though the apprenticeship levy being devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
He said: “We believe that this Levy undermines our uniquely Scottish approach to apprenticeships and imposes an unnecessary financial burden on employers. However we are determined to work with industry to ensure that opportunities to enhance workforce skills and productivity sit at the heart of our response to the introduction of the Levy.”
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