Apprenticeship Levy goes live despite mixed reviews

Redrow Housing, one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, has welcomed the new Apprenticeship Levy, which comes into effect today (6th April), despite some MPs concerns that the scheme lacks focus and targets the wrong industries.

With a shortage of fully qualified labourers, the construction industry has been a major hurdle facing housebuilders in recent years.

It is estimated that around 50,000 homes across England alone are still waiting to be built despite receiving planning consent partly due to a construction skills shortage in the house building industry.

Karen Jones, HR director at Redrow Housing, said: “The government’s recognition of the need to focus on grassroots recruitment through a number of avenues is to be applauded, and the introduction of the levy will directly increase the number of businesses growing apprentice numbers across the UK.

“Technical skillsets, in particular in sectors such as construction, engineering and health and social care, are vital to the strength of UK PLC but are currently in short supply so this policy represents a significant step in the right direction.”

But a joint report by the Commons education and business select committees claims the scheme lacks focus and targets the wrong industries.

It has reported in the media that MPs believe the Levy is a “blunt instrument that risks being unduly focused on simply raising participation levels.”