CMI backs Apprenticeship Levy reforms as UK managers support need to invest in skills

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has welcomed the Government’s latest update today (25 October) on its plans for the Apprenticeship Levy, representing widespread support of the UK’s managers.

The Government has provided further clarification on how the Levy will work, which is due to launch in April 2017. This includes giving employers more time to spend funds in their digital account, now with 24 months before they expire, an increase from government’s original proposal of just 18 months. The rules will also provide additional support for young people to increase the number of 16-24-year-olds entering into apprenticeships.  

The announcement is welcome news at a time of renewed focus on upskilling the UK, as Brexit continues to fuel concerns about future access to top-level international talent.

The critical nature of these roles means that not having the right management and leadership skills can lead to the ultimate failure of the business. BIS data reveals that incompetence or bad management of company directors causes 56% of corporate failures*. Investors in People data also reveal that poor leadership and management costs the UK economy £84bn a year in lower productivity**.

CMI’s backing for the Apprenticeship Levy and its timetable for roll-out reflects widespread support among the UK’s managers for the scheme. According to a recent survey of 1,065 managers by CMI, four in five (80%) believe that post-Brexit investing in skills will be even more important. Nearly three times as many managers think that the Government should stick to its timetable compared to those who disagree with the Government’s current plans (48% vs 17%).

Petra Wilton, CMI’s director of strategy, commented:

“Giving employers extra time to spend Levy funds and incentives to take on 16-24-year-olds will be a great boost to increasing the number of apprentices the UK so desperately needs. A recent CMI survey of over 1,000 managers showed strong support for the Apprenticeship Levy, and 80% of managers agree there needs to be far greater investment in higher level skills to meet the massive economic and employment challenges that we’ll face post-Brexit. Bad management currently costs British businesses £84bn a year in lost productivity, leaving us lagging behind our G7 competitors. We clearly need to use the opportunities of the levy to ensure that we have the future skills such as management and digital that employers are crying out for.

On an individual level, the likes of Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship will give both school leavers and existing workers alike the chance to get a degree, professional accreditation and work experience to kick-start their careers in management.”

Government approval to develop a new Master’s-level degree apprenticeship in leadership and management means organisations will be able to use Apprenticeship Levy funds to invest in the skills of their most senior leaders.

In September, the Department for Education (DfE) gave the go-ahead for the development of a new a Master’s degree management apprenticeship which is aimed senior executives and C-suite level.

The apprenticeship will be designed by employers to develop the skill sets of those working in private, public and not-for-for-profit sectors with responsibility for directing the operations of companies or third sector organisations, government departments or local authorities, and formulating national and local government policy.

This new apprenticeship will be developed by a group of more than 30 employers led by Serco and Civil Service Learning, and supported by CMI.

It adds to the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, which was launched in November 2015, and the team leader and operational manager apprenticeships launched in June 2016, providing a progression route for employers to invest in managers at all levels.  

For more information on management apprenticeships visit:

*Leadership and Management in the UK – The key to sustainable growth – a summary of the evidence for the value of investing in leadership and management development, BIS, 2012

**People Management Dashboard 2015, Investors in People




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