Boles: Brexit could jeopardise apprenticeship levy

'Payroll tax' may be put on ice if the UK opts to leave the European Union, skills minister warns

Will Martin

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Nick Boles has warned that it may not be “prudent” for the apprenticeship levy to go ahead if the UK votes to leave the European Union.

The skills minister said that the programme could be put on hold should the UK opt for Brexit in next week's referendum, because business confidence could be “knocked by a decision to leave the single market”.

In a speech at thinktank Policy Exchange yesterday, Mr Boles said: “Do you think the chancellor will feel it is prudent to introduce a new payroll tax in the middle of a recession, when business confidence has been knocked by a decision to leave the single market and unemployment is rising?”

He continued: “Like all public services, funding for apprenticeships, and other support for young people, depends on the economy being strong and businesses being profitable."

Stay in EU to protect Esol

Last week the National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA) claimed that "the only way to ensure access to affordable Esol" (English for speakers of other languages) classes for students was to remain in the European Union.

A statement published by NATECLA warned that, in the case of Brexit, many EU students would be charged higher fees for language courses, and this could also mean funding cuts for the FE sector.

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Will Martin

Will is a junior reporter at TES

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