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It is the Government’s flagship policy to fix the UK’s skills problem, a well-intentioned "tax" on employers to raise £3 billion and create 3 million new apprenticeship starts.
But the apprenticeship levy, due to take effect on 6 April, could end up being "fairer" to some employers than others or risk failing to achieve its goals, if the Government does not clarify a number of issues.
When the levy was first announced in 2015, the (then) Chancellor George Osborne said businesses would "get back more than they put in", but that smaller, non-levy paying businesses could also benefit from funding by a system of "co-investment" where the employer pays 10% and the Government covers the other 90% of the cost of training.
Unlike levy-payers, however, smaller companies arguably face a more complex route to gaining this investment, including having to negotiate contracts with training providers to secure the limited amount of funding on offer.
Furthermore, confusion around their entitlements has led many smaller businesses to think "if they don't pay it, then it's nothing to do with them", according to Gemma Tumelty of HR consultancy The HR Dept.
She says: "Many small businesses are so busy doing their job, what they're good at, that they don't look into what's available to them and whether they can access additional funding. The Government has not confirmed exactly how mu