The Scottish Government has published details of how it will spend its £221 million share of the UK Apprenticeship Levy:
- The creation of a new £10 million Workforce Development Fund which will help employers work in partnership with colleges to up-skill and re-skill their existing workforce and address skills gaps
- Continue to expand the number of Modern Apprenticeships to reach the Scottish Government target of 30,000 new starts per year by 2020
- Increase the number of Graduate Level and Foundation Apprenticeships in 2017-18
- Partnerships between employers, local authorities and the third sector to tackle unemployment and under-representation in the labour market
- The continued implementation of the Youth Employment Strategy and delivery of employment focused college provision for young people
- Skills support for priority sectors including digital, care and early years.
Less than half of the budget – £93.5 million – will be used for Apprenticeships (Foundation, Modern and Graduate Level). This is a disappointing outcome for STF which has argued that all levy funds should be spent on apprenticeships – or apprenticeships-related programme
According to the Scottish Government “Although the £221 million levy settlement forms part of the Scottish block grant, its proceeds will largely replace existing apprenticeship funding.”
The STF Board will be discussing the implications of the Levy spend at its next meeting on 1 February 2017.