Autumn Statement 2015

Good news on apprenticeship levy for FLT sector

In his first Autumn Statement as the Chancellor of a Conservative government, George Osborne announced welcome news on apprenticeship funding.

The Government revealed that while all UK firms will benefit from the investment earned from the new apprenticeship levy, only larger firms will be required to pay.

The purpose of the new all-industry levy is to encourage all firms to take on more apprentices and increase their contribution to staff training.

The funding generated by the levy will support the government's plans for three million new apprenticeships (across all sectors) over the next five years to help develop the UK’s skills base and drive long-term productivity.

The levy rate was set at 0.5% of payroll costs including a £15,000 allowance to offset against costs of apprenticeships.

Only companies whose payroll costs exceed £3m will be required to pay the levy – this represents around 2% of employers and is expected to raise £3bn a year.

The Fork Lift Truck Association’s Chief Executive Peter Harvey, said: “This is welcome news for the fork lift truck sector. There are now clear monetary incentives for taking on an apprentice that make sound financial sense to both large companies and smaller firms and SMEs.

“Employers with less than 50 employees who have not employed an apprentice in the last twelve months can apply for the “AGE 16 to 24“ Apprenticeship Grant, plus from April 2016 onwards, employers of apprentices will also be exempt from paying National Insurance contributions for any apprentice under 25 years of age.”

Just 18 months ago the FLTA and BITA (the British Industrial Truck Association) came together in an important collaborative venture to establish the UK’s first single national fork lift truck engineering apprenticeship programme.

Jointly managed by BITA and the FLTA, the single apprenticeship scheme is delivered by the BITA Academy and organised by learning and development specialists Karl Baum Associates.

After years of hard work to establish the scheme, both trade associations recently celebrated the first raft of apprentices to successfully pass the course at the BITA Academy, apprentices who are now entering the industry as newly qualified fork lift truck service engineers.

For any firm interested in taking on a new apprentice or simply exploring their options, please contact Karl Baum Associates in the first instance on 07803 378 290 or via email at karl.baum@bita-academy.org