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UKHospitality says apprenticeship programme still needs widespread reform

UKHospitality has supported the Local Government Association’s (LGA) call for a shake up of the apprenticeship programme and reform of the apprenticeship levy.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said, “The enthusiasm shown by the LGA and local authorities in promoting skills development underlines the importance of apprenticeship schemes.”

“Apprenticeships can be very useful for both employers and employees, providing opportunities to earn and learn while getting a valuable first step on a career ladder. It is clear, though, that the current system is in need of reformation if it is to be effective.'

Nicholls continued, “The Chancellor has previously announced some steps to address inadequacies, but we still need more widespread reform if the programme is to achieve more. Hospitality businesses need more flexibility in how the levy can be spent. This would help to improve the return for employer and employee alike.

“A good starting point would be enabling larger employers to use the levy for apprenticeship-related costs and for unspent levy funds to be spent helping SMEs to employ and develop apprentices.”