Fri 9th Dec 2016
NI Chamber hosts Apprenticeship Levy Briefing
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) held a briefing with the Department for the Economy on the Apprenticeship Levy yesterday (8 December 2016).
Hosted by Deloitte, over 40 members attended the briefing on the levy which will be introduced across the UK in April 2017. It will affect all firms with a payroll of over £3m and will be 0.5% of a company’s salary bill, paid through PAYE, alongside income tax and National Insurance on a monthly basis.
Commenting on the Apprenticeship Levy, and the current consultation document released by the department, Christopher Morrow, Head of Policy at NI Chamber, said:
“NI Chamber members have fundamental concerns about the proposed Apprenticeship Levy and we therefore welcome the consultation which will provide a platform for businesses to formalise these issues.
“The system in England is well developed, but the practicalities of the levy from a devolved perspective are unclear. How will businesses access the fund? How will it work for businesses that are multinational and train centrally or businesses that have staff working outside NI? Will the funds received from the levy in Northern Ireland be ring-fenced for apprenticeship/skills funding only?”
Speaking at the briefing, Jackie Henry, Senior Partner of Deloitte in Northern Ireland, said:
“Deloitte NI has made a significant investment in the design and development of our award-winning apprenticeship programme and in the academy programme that develops and re-skills local graduates. These programmes are critical to us achieving our ambition to grow the firm to over 1000 staff by 2020. The proposed approach to the management of the Apprenticeship levy in NI is effectively creating a ‘double tariff’ for growing businesses like our own and this sits in contrast to the rest of the UK.
“Investment in talent and skills will be the most important driver of the future economic growth of Northern Ireland and in maintaining our global competitiveness. I would therefore call on the Executive to ring fence levy monies and prioritise investment in skills programmes that will expand NI’s future talent pipeline, support new talent models and provide innovative solutions to develop our young people in a way that best meets the needs of business.”
Further information on the consultation is available at https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/consultations/apprenticeship-levy