City & Guilds responds to the Spring Statement

City & Guilds has responded to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement, which he made in the House of Commons earlier today.

23 March 2022

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO City & Guilds said: “We were cautiously optimistic to hear Government state in their budget announcement today that they will review the apprenticeship system in the months ahead. This must happen if we are to drive up employer engagement in the system and ensure more people are able to benefit from apprenticeships in the future.

“We highlighted in our 2018 research with the CBI, Flex for Success?, that employers wanted greater flexibility in how they are able to spend their levy to allow them to better meet their skills needs – but two and a half years later this still hasn’t happened. The fact that the current system is not working for employers is undoubtedly contributing to the UK continuing to have far lower investment in workplace skills than many of our European counterparts.

We’ve also shown in this year’s Great Jobs research that workers are crying out for training, saying that a lack of relevant skills is one of the main things stopping them from considering roles in many industries with skills shortages.

“To increase employer engagement and support workers, we have proposed that a broader skills levy should be introduced where employers pay more in (and /or more employers contribute) and are then able to spend funds on a broader selection of workforce training but with a percentage of funds ringfenced for apprenticeships to ensure that opportunities for people to ‘level up’ are not lost.”