Urgent Question on Apprenticeship Levy

Today I spoke on behalf of the SNP to bring an urgent question before the Minister for Business Innovation and Skills, Nick Boles MP.

The government is introducing the apprenticeship levy to help fund three million new apprenticeships by 2020. The levy will be applied to all industries in the UK, replacing all apprenticeship funding currently provided by the government for companies of all sizes.

Today I called on the UK Government to reconsider the economic impacts of the Apprentice Levy and the impact its measures it will have on Scotland. This comes just a week after Scottish Apprenticeship Week when I visited Ferguson Marine, in Port Glasgow, to see the important work being done by our apprentices in Inverclyde.

The levy is a matter of fundamental concern, it encroaches on our devolved responsibilities and is causing concern for employers and has come under criticism from a wide number of organisations including CBI and the Chartered Institute of Taxation. The UK Government has still to provide clarity on how Scotland’s share of levy raised will be calculated and transferred to the Scottish Government.