MNTB and UK Chamber of Shipping Apprenticeship Seminar

The MNTB and UK Chamber of Shipping have backed the CBIs call to delay the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy, due to a lack of clarity surrounding the scheme and the impact it may have on employers and existing apprenticeship programme.

The levy, which is due to hit all companies in the UK with a pay bill of over £3m from next April, is creating numerous unanswered questions about the operation of the levy, how it will work across the UK and what implications it will have for training providers.

Head of the Merchant Navy Training Board, Glenys Jackson commented,

“Whilst ‘Apprenticeship’ is the word of the moment, and the sector is fully supportive of efforts to increase the number of apprenticeships across the industry, there is a great deal of concern and frustration felt surrounding the forthcoming levy.

“Thus far, very little detail has been provided by government on the practical detail of the scheme, leaving many businesses in the sector concerned over the true impact implementation may have.”

The MNTB held a joint Apprenticeship seminar with the UK Chamber of Shipping to allow members to air their issues and concerns and to gain more information about the levy and the impact it may have on their businesses. Particular areas of concern included how the levy would be implemented in the devolved regions of the UK and what impact it may have for paying training providers.

Addressing industry representatives, Grace Breen of the CBI, outlined why the employer’s organisation is calling for the implementation of the Levy to be delayed until 2018, in order to allow government and businesses to gain a better understanding of the implications.

Guy Platten, UK Chamber CEO, remarked;

“The lack of clarity on the levy is of great concern, and the UK Chamber fully supports the CBI’s call for a delay in implementation. It is crucial that government and industry are able to fully assess the implications of the levy, or risk jeopardising recent successes in increasing apprenticeship numbers.”

Ian Woodman, Head of Maritime at the Department for Transport aimed to provide reassurance to the sector during the seminar, highlighting the government’s new transport skills strategy and stressing that the DfT is keen to work with industry in the lead up to the introduction of the levy, ensuring that they are supported as necessary.

Discussions also covered the ongoing work of the MTNB Trailblazer group to develop a range of maritime apprenticeships. Gemma Griffin of DFDS, presented on the successes they have seen from their apprenticeship programmes and highlighted the value they get from having apprentices within their organisation. One of their apprentices, Daniel Smith, who is due to qualify in September illustrated the personal benefits of the apprenticeship and the value of the portfolio of skills that he will take with him to his further career.

It is clear that many questions are still, and will remain unanswered, but inroads have been made into strengthening relationships with DfT on the lead up to this levy and the MNTB and UK Chamber will continue to work with the CBI in support of the proposal to pause the introduction of the levy until 2018.

For more information about apprenticeships contact:

Ibrahim Ismail

Training Development Manager

020 7417 2823