Apprenticeships Must Deliver ‘Added Value’ for Jobs in Plant Hire

Hire Association Europe has called for apprenticeships in the construction industry to deliver “added value” for jobs in plant hire, related disciplines, and for the employers who provide such opportunities.

A government consultation on the issue closed recently, with the next publication of updates on the process due before Christmas.

It centres on the proposal of an employer’s levy on apprenticeships, which would be introduced in 2017, but has raised concerns from some opponents that it would simply represent a ‘payroll tax’.

“HAE shares the concerns of other business organisations that the levy should not become just a payroll tax, but is directly managed by employers to ensure added value for sectors and employees alike,” HAE said.

Even before the next formal announcements from the consultation process, there should be some indication of the government’s stance as part of the Autumn Statement, which is scheduled for November 25th.

Key factors include: the definition of ‘large employers’ who will be affected by the scheme; the availability of funding for mentoring and supply chain initiatives; and the implementation of the levy across the sector.

If introduced as described, the levy should ensure the industry as a whole is contributing towards funding more apprenticeships, helping an estimated three million people into jobs in plant hire, related disciplines, and other apprenticeships in the construction sector.