Arguments for a 0% contribution for SMEs to apprenticeship funding in unconvincing
There is a much talk about the slow take up for apprenticeships.
It is a shame because apprenticeships when done well have surely got to be part of the success story of the UK going forward.
It is clear there are many contributing factors to this low take up and I understand the complexities and variables.
Many say that non levy paying SMEs should get easier access to the levy funding. I'm not convinced that either a 0% or even a very low employer contribution is a good thing.
In my experience over many years now, when employers and individuals step outside of funded training and make their own investment (in other words, pay for it) there are a two key benefits:
* They have demonstrated a real commitment to the development they have identified as a need. A choice to spend their own money brings a real focus and motivation to fully engage, complete their development programme, and achieve ROI.
* They have a free choice over potential partners, rather than being restricted to providers on an approved public sector list (not a bash, so many of these are of course excellent at what they do). However, there are also many excellent training providers who have chosen not to be involved in funded training.
I hope apprenticeships succeed, alongside other options.