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Industry bodies facing labour shortages have asked for a reform of the apprenticeship levy which they say could help more older workers back into work.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC), UKHospitality, techUK, and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) have written to the Government calling for reform of the current apprenticeship levy system, including changes that could help over 50s back into work.
The trade bodies want the Government to widen the apprenticeship levy into a broader skills levy that can be spent on a broader range of accredited courses including shorter, more targeted courses. Current rules mean employers are left unable to spend £3.5bn of funds set aside.
Many organisations including the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development have been calling for a broader skills levy scheme which they say will better meet the skills needs of the UK economy.
Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UKHospitality, said an overhaul of the system would help bring those who had become economically inactive, including over-50s, back into work to plug skills gaps.
The Recruitment Employment Confederation says that many of the skills the UK needs today do not need to be developed via a lengthy apprenticeship.
Hospitality is one of the sectors that has suffered most from the labour shortage following the Covid pandemic and Brexit. UKHospitality has recently issued a guide to recruiting more over 50s into the workforce, with training being an essential part.
It states: “For employees, the benefits of training hold true at any age. There are studies showing that if you keep your brain active, it gives you a happier life. And learning new skills is a big part of that. It’s about lifelong learning, not just