The British Retail Consortium has added its voice to the cries urging the Government to reconsider the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, and has called for the Government to delay its plans. 

The British Retail Consortium joins the CIPD and CBI in raising concerns that businesses will not have sufficient time to prepare for the new levy. The new levy requires businesses with a wage bill of in excess of £3million to pay a levy of 0.5% into a 'pot' which will be available to all businesses to fund apprenticeships and training. 

Guidance on the operation of the apprenticeship levy which had been scheduled for June was released earlier this month, after a near two month delay. This guidance gives businesses some idea of how the levy payments can be used, however, many questions remain unanswered. The British Retail Consortium raises concerns that the rush to implement the levy will result in businesses rushing to find ways of spending any accrued entitlements by way of 'box ticking' exercise, rather than careful consideration of how best that business can offer training and apprenticeships, undermining the purpose of the apprenticeship levy, which is to improve quality and funding of apprenticeships. They request that the  date for the introduction of the levy be pushed back to 2018. 

For further details of the apprenticeship levy, see Katee Dias' article by clicking the following link