Apprenticeship Levy should be paused throughout COVID-19
Friday 03 April 2020
The Apprenticeship Levy should be paused throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to prevent businesses paying tax towards a funding programme they are unable to draw down from, according to FTA. With logistics businesses unable to recruit new apprentices due to social distancing rules, and with no new training programmes getting under way at this time, the business group is urging government to review the continued use of the Levy during the pandemic.
Christopher Snelling, Head of UK Policy at FTA, comments: “As the business organisation representing the logistics sector, FTA is urging government to pause the Apprenticeship Levy programme; due to social distancing rules and restrictions on training, most businesses are now unable to recruit new apprentices. Logistics businesses are already under intense financial pressure – our recent survey identified 76% of respondents as having experienced a downturn in business since the COVID-19 outbreak – and to expect them to continue to pay into a funding programme they can no longer access is unfair to the industry charged with keeping the UK trading. Add to this the fact that the Treasury continues to reclaim any unused funding – despite the fact most businesses are unable to hire new apprentices – and it seems that the logistics sector is being taxed unfairly while under extreme stress. FTA is urging government to rethink its approach as a matter of urgency.”
The Apprenticeship Levy is a tax on employers which is used to fund apprenticeship training. It is payable by all employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million at a rate of 0.5% of their total pay bill.
Efficient logistics is vital to keep the UK trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. FTA is one of the biggest business groups in the UK, supporting, shaping and standing up for safe and efficient logistics. We are the only business group in the UK that represents all of logistics, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.