This goes against calls from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which wanted to see the introduction of the levy delayed to clarify the position for the firms affected.
“The ALMR had pushed for a delay in its implementation but that has not been forthcoming. The Government now needs to make clarification a top priority so that those businesses that are paying into the levy understand its function and can begin to access the benefits,” the association’s chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said.
However, the levy came into effect on 6 April, which means that all employers with an annual wage bill of more than £3m will now pay 0.5% of their annual payroll that is over £3m into a communal pot for training apprentices.
As a result, industry bodies have been preparing accredited training. The ALMR will be launching a diploma later in the year, while a group of 10 brewers this week submitted a proposal to the Government to develop a new brewing apprenticeship.
The latter was backed by both the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
The BBPA has emphasised that non-levy payers should be looking to capitalise on the legislation. “Non-levy payers can benefit from apprenticeship funding and the new standards, as the Government will fund up to 90% of their apprenticeship costs to participate in these schemes,” the association’s chief executive, Brigid Simmonds, said.