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DfE considers apprenticeship levy pooling pilot

The government has already relaxed apprenticeship levy rules and may allow businesses to pool their contributions

Members of the Confederation of British Industry and Department for Education officials are set to meet to discuss ways to relax the rules around the apprenticeship levy

The government has already relaxed apprenticeship levy rules and may allow businesses to pool their contributions

Members of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Department for Education officials are set to meet to discuss the relaxation of apprenticeship-levy rules.

The meeting was scheduled to take place in the West Midlands today to find ways to help businesses spend their levy funds.

The CBI has proposed a change to the rules to allow companies to pool and share levy funds. The CBI says a pilot of this proposal was expected to be discussed at the meeting.

'There is a way forward'

The government has already made some concessions on the rules surrounding the levy, including allowing large employers to transfer 10 per cent of their levy funds to multiple businesses.

Writing for TesJohn Cope, head of education and skills at the CBI, argues that, “however serious the levy’s current design flaws are, there is a way forward”.

He adds: "One idea the CBI has proposed is for firms to be allowed to pool and share their levy funds – something that requires a change in the levy regulations. Today, DfE officials and several CBI members in the West Midlands are meeting to discuss how this idea could be piloted."

The number of people starting apprenticeships has dropped significantly since the levy was introduced in April 2017. According to the latest figures, there were 24,100 starts in April this year, down two-thirds on the figures for the same month last year.

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