“With our research showing three quarters of businesses reporting skills shortages, it is vital that employers can recruit young people into the business and upskill workers at every level of the workforce. 

“Apprenticeships are very much part of the solution, but the restrictions and complexity around the use of the Apprenticeship Levy have made it more difficult for firms to use them to train staff and plug skills shortages. Since the Levy was introduced nearly a year ago, we have seen a worrying fall in the number of new apprenticeships started. This is limiting opportunities for people and could impact on business competitiveness. Something must be done urgently to reverse this trend.  

“The Government urgently needs to work with businesses to find ways to make the Apprenticeship Levy work better for everyone, and ensure that the UK economy has the skilled staff it needs. Some quick fixes include giving firms more time to source apprenticeship training, introducing more flexible payment schedules and doing more to help SMEs access apprenticeship funding.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a powerful network of 52 Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes and within all sectors. Our Global Business Network connects exporters with nearly 40 markets around the world. For more information, visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

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Media contacts:

Allan Williams – Head of Press and Communications

020 7654 5812 / 07920583381

 Orla Hennessy – Press and Communications Officer

020 7654 5813 / 07825746812