Warning over Apprenticeship reform

Any drastic reform or the abolition of the government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme will have a hugely detrimental impact on the skills gap across the accountancy profession, says a new report from the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC).

The report says cuts to funding of higher and degree apprenticeships, that are so critical to training core sectors and occupations such as accountancy to a senior level, will lead to a decline in skilled professionals.

Mandy Crawford-Lee, CEO of UVAC (pictured) said: “One major casualty of radical reform or abolishment of the current apprenticeship levy scheme will unfortunately be skilled professionals across the financial services sector if funding to higher and degree level apprenticeships is compromised.

“The potential election of a new government this summer, misconceptions around the amount of levy funds retained by the Treasury annually and increasing pressure from big business to scrap it completely has meant its future is uncertain.

“This uncertainty poses a threat to the delivery of level 6 and 7 apprenticeships which are so integral to recruiting and training skilled, senior level people working across both the private and public sector. Putting apprenticeship levy funding at risk to those aiming to work in accountancy or upskill within the profession, would also hinder social mobility.”