Are cracks appearing in the apprenticeship levy?
20 March 2017
This year, 1 April presents a double whammy of a challenge to auto retailers. If communicating the complexities of the new VED changes to customers isnt enough, youll also have to get to grips with the Governments much-vaunted Apprenticeship Levy.
Its ironic that neither initiative has been fully explained to those it will affect the most. Few businesses will likely be surprised by this, as such behaviour is par for the course when dealing with government-backed projects.
But its the Apprenticeship Levy thats likely to focus the minds of auto retailers the most. This initiative, while a positive one in spirit, attaches a considerable amount of extra paperwork and, crucially, cost, to something that most progressive businesses were doing anyway.
Trainees and apprentices are the lifeblood of the industry when it comes to ensuring sufficient numbers of qualified staff are available to keep departments working. The added bureaucracy and expense associated with the scheme is unlikely to help, especially when other financial burdens are already impacting businesses, such post-Brexit economic uncertainties, national living wage and business rate hikes.
Now, if it was a truly awful scheme everyone would be up in arms by now. But, along with the extra financial burden, its the lack of detail and uncertainty surrounding its administration thats causing a considerable amount of frustration.
In our April issue Auto Retail Bulletin interview with Vertus chief executive, Robert Forresters assessment of the scheme to date will no doubt chime with others in a similar position. Its cost to businesses plus a lack of detail and transparency from government present three critical known unknowns as April is just around the corner. Just what you don’t need at a time of economic uncertainty and industry upheaval.
Auto Retail Network