The Queen’s speech today outlined the Government’s forthcoming policies and proposed legislation. It included a commitment to 3 million more people starting apprenticeships over the next five years and a consultation on funding apprenticeships through a new visa levy on businesses that use foreign labour.
Tim Thomas, Head of Employment Policy at EEF, says: “This ambitious target of creating 3 million apprenticeships over the next Parliament will be a challenge not only for Government, but employers too, who will play a key role.
“We know that manufacturers are ready to step up to the plate. However, the Government must put as much emphasis on quality as it does on quantity. It should look to pioneering sectors such as manufacturing, which has a proven track record in offering world-class apprenticeships and where employers are significantly investing in their future workforces.
“However, even the most proactive of employers will, at times, need to recruit specialist workers from outside the UK and Europe. Any future apprenticeship levy imposed on these employers, simply because they have recruited a worker from outside the EU, will be seen as punitive and risks alienating the same employers who already train UK apprentices. ”