Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has launched a consultation seeking the views of Northern Ireland employers on the forthcoming introduction of the UK wide Apprenticeship Levy.
The Apprenticeship Levy will apply to employers with a pay bill of over £3million. The Levy, which is set at a rate of 0.5% of an employers pay bill, will be collected by HM Revenue and Customs through the PAYE system on a monthly basis from May 2017.
Launching the consultation, the Minister said: “The introduction of this Levy by the UK Government is of concern to many employers here and is bad news particularly given that the Levy contributions will have no net benefit to the Northern Ireland Block Grant. However, I am committed to working with all stakeholders in shaping our response to the introduction of this Levy.
“A skilled workforce is essential to rebuilding and maintaining a modern, knowledge intensive, export-driven economy. I am committed to working with our employers to ensure that our apprenticeships and skills programmes can continue to grow their skills base and competitiveness.
“We have a distinct approach to training and apprenticeship provision which promotes closer engagement with industry. Indeed, we already spend in the region of £80million on work related training for businesses here.
“I’m launching a short and focused consultation process as I want to hear the view of all employers affected by introduction of this Levy. The consultation will run until 23 December 2016 and gives employers an opportunity to present their views.”
A number of consultation events will be held during the consultation period to discuss the implications of the Levy for employers in Northern Ireland.
Notes to editors:
- The introduction of the UK wide Apprenticeship Levy was announced by the UK Government in summer 2015 and will be introduced in April 2017. It will impact on employers in Northern Ireland with an annual pay bill in excess of £3million. It is a reserved matter for the Westminster Government.
- To access the consultation document visit the consultations website.
- Employers interested in attending a stakeholder event can register their interest by contacting the Department by emailing email@example.com
- For media enquiries contact DFE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.
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