Food and DrinkNews

Apprenticeship Reform A Positive Step Towards Skills Development, Says UKHospitality

Ahead of today’s Labour Party announcement on apprenticeship reform, UKHospitality has welcomed measures to provide greater flexibility for employers.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to announce reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy and the establishment of a climate apprenticeship.

Reforms will include allowing levy funds to be redeemed for a wider range of accredited training and extending the period of time allowed for employers to spend their levy.

Labour will also announce it will increase the amount of money businesses are allowed to transfer to non-levy paying small and medium-sized businesses.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Reforms to the apprenticeship regime are needed to give businesses greater control over their training needs. Measures to reform the system and provide more flexibility for businesses are certainly a positive step. Upskilling the workforce is a priority for hospitality, so any measures that free businesses up to invest in their teams more efficiently are welcome.

“The focus on climate action is also very welcome. UKHospitality has proposed establishing a Green Sector Deal for hospitality to deliver a step change in sustainability and we hope that this announcement can be a springboard for further support to help businesses address climate issues. However, taking 25% of apprenticeship funding from business amounts to a stealth tax, and we hope Labour reconsiders how it wants to fund what could be a very positive avenue of training.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn while you earn money and start on the right track to a great career. We need to reframe the discussion around apprenticeships and be encouraging more people to take them up. We hope that Labour can commit to this alongside the support it has announced.”