Apprenticeship Levy explained

Government policy fails almost one million temporary workers


Apprenticeship Levy petition 





Here’s what you need to know about the Levy  


The Apprenticeship Levy came into force in April 2017. If you are a business with a payroll of over £3 million (including your contingent labour payrolls), you will have had to pay the 0.5 per cent levy. From April 2019, recruitment businesses have started to lose unspent levy money taken in tax 2 years ago. 


Why do we want to reform the Apprenticeship Levy?


  1. We estimate that 20% of our members pay into the Levy - in contrast to only 1.3% of all employers. Levy funds are only allowed to be spent on apprenticeships, and because of these tight rules, employment businesses with large numbers of temporary workers struggle to use this funding to train workers on flexible and temporary contracts. 670 REC members have generated £104 million of unused funds.
  2. There are 960,000 temporary workers in need of skills training who are being denied access to courses which could lead to significant pay rises and enhanced quality of life.
  3. 82% of businesses plan to offer training/upskilling opportunities to current staff in order to increase productivity [Training for Temps report, REC, 2019]. These opportunities could be offered to those on flexible and temporary contracts, especially in sectors where we have skills gaps such as Health and Social Care and Manufacturing. 

The REC’s Training for Temps campaign calls on the industry, the public and employers, to stand with us by signing our public petition. We are asking the government to broaden the Apprenticeship Levy so that workers on more flexible and temporary contracts can benefit. We are calling for these recommendations to be piloted within the recruitment industry.


Here's what you can do to help


Currently the government is engaging with employers on how the Apprenticeship Levy operates. This is an opportunity for us to put forward our case. Reforming the Apprenticeship Levy into something more flexible will not only benefit recruiters, it will also help workers on temporary contracts to progress and improve the wider UK economy.  You can help support our campaign using the following steps:


  1. Sign our public petition here
  2. REC Members: Contact your local MP - download the template letter
  3. REC Members: Contact your local media - download the template letter
  4. Use our Social Media Campaign pack to share the petition and raise awareness of our campaign via social media


"Sign our petition today!"

The REC says

"960,000 temporary workers in need of skills training are being denied access to courses which could lead to significant pay rises and enhanced quality of life".

Download the campaign pack

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