Government wants three million apprentices by 2020

The government has outlined its ambition to have three million apprentices in work in Britain by 2020. Chancellor George Osborne said the improved support is a 'huge reform to tackle one of the most enduring weaknesses of the British economy'. The government will increase funding per place and establish a business-led body as part of the initiative. An apprenticeship levy, which Osborne said would 'ensure large businesses share the cost of training the workforce' will also be introduced, set at 0.5% of the apprentice's annual wage, though an allowance of £15,000 will support the charge. The levy is expected to raise £3bn per year and fund three million apprenticeships. The Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that the apprenticeship levy will damage wage growth as employers pass the cost on to their staff. It said the levy, together with the cost of pensions auto-enrolment, would reduce cumulative wage growth over the next five years by 0.7%. But the CBI welcomed the establishment of a body to monitor the levy, for which it has been calling.


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