Talking Apprenticeships On Radio 5 Live

Apprenticeships are back in the press after chancellor Philip Hammond, stated on Monday 1st October, that ‘there will be a shake-up of the apprenticeship levy’ following the news that apprenticeships have dropped by 28% since the levy system was introduced in April 2017. He announced an increase in the amount of the levy that big companies could transfer to small companies in their supply chain from 10% to 25% after big companies complained about the scheme’s inflexibility and many SMEs stopped hiring apprentices because of the costs.

As keen advocates of apprenticeships for the fashion and textile sector our CEO Jenny Holloway was invited to speak on BBC Radio 5 Live (1st October 2018) during Drive Time to give her view on the latest situation.

Sarah Brett asked Jenny if she thought the latest figures revealed a system that clearly isn’t working? Jenny responded:

“There is a disconnect, but I think it is more about the process. I think fundamentally the idea of a levy, which is almost a concealed tax that is going into the apprenticeship fund, is a good idea. The problem is how the employer can access that path and all the information that is required, it’s a whole new system and these big employers are busy people with their day jobs to do. Suddenly they are having to go into a system called IDAMS (Identity and Access Management System) and the background notes can be 60 – 70 pages long and within the same academic year there might be a version 2 and a version 3. So it’s more about this process of accessing paperwork that’s required behind the scenes. Small SME’s are finding that they can’t access the funding streams and essentially what needs to happen is that the system has got to be made much simpler for access.”

To find out more about our apprenticeships in Fashion, Textiles and Tailoring click here.