Priti Patel, the MP for Witham and the Chair of the Essex Business Transport and Infrastructure Forum (EBTIF) has co-hosted a Forum meeting at Westminster (20 May) with the Rt Hon Ann Milton MP, Minister for Apprenticeship and Skills, to discuss the Apprenticeship Levy and how it can support Essex businesses in recruiting and investing in the training of their employees.
Representatives from a wide range of key sectors attended the meeting including: airports, ports, utilities, housing development, local enterprise partnerships and education. There was a lively discussion with the Minister of the key issues involving the Apprenticeship Levy and how it is administered.
Speaking after the meeting, Priti said: “It was a spirited exchange of views and it was clear that the Apprenticeship Levy has a number of challenges and that businesses are struggling to make the Levy work due to a number of restrictions on how it can be used to support business. I am pleased that the Minister took time to listen to the concerns raised and expressed a wish for businesses to come in and talk to her officials about their issues with the Levy.”
Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, who also co-hosted the meeting, said: “Finding suitably skilled staff is an issue that businesses are always raising with us, so I was delighted to be able to take part in a meeting of EBTIF at Westminster to discuss this important topic. I am grateful that the Apprenticeships Minister was able to take time to come and hear first-hand from Essex Chambers’ members about some of the problems they face in recruiting staff and dealing with the complexities of the Apprenticeship Levy.”