The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) have stated that the Chancellor of the exchequer is right to make the Apprenticeship Levy more flexible, in a bid to ensure it works for strategic industries such as the construction sector. That being said, they aren’t convinced his reforms have gone far enough.
“The Chancellor has, in part, listened to the concerns of businesses by making the Apprenticeship Levy more flexible. However, he needs to go much further,” said Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, and former Head of Uk Public Policy for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as a response to the Chancellor’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference.
As it stands 10% of Levy vouchers can currently be passed down through the supply chain from larger firms to smaller ones, but now Chancellor Philip Hammond, has stated that figure should instead be 25%.
“This is important, in construction its the small firms that do the bulk of the training while the large firms don’t tend to directly employ or train tradespeople. Since the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced last year, apprenticeships stats have fallen in the construction trades by more than 10%,” added Brian Berry.
Given that the construction industry is already suffering from an acute shortage of skills, Brian Berry called this, “very worrying indeed.” He went on to say: “If the Chancellor is serious about ensuing the Levy has the desired effect, and increases meaningful training across all sectors, it should go further and make 100% of the vouchers transferable from large to small companies.”
The FMB is non-profit making and independent, it works as a lobbying for members’ interests at both a local and national level. It stands as a source of knowledge, support and advice for members, while offering a range of modern and innovative building services to help members succeed and achieve.
Committed to continuously keeping quality high and forever raising the bar on standards, they even offer a free service to consumers titled: “Find a builder.”
Operating by constantly lobbying the Government to boost output and raise standards of both safety and professionalism in conduct at all levels, the FMB strive for a fair, safe and well structured construction sector at all times.
The FMB is the largest trade association in the United Kingdom construction industry, and represents thousand of firms across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941, the aim of the FMB is to protect the interest of both medium and small sized construction firms.