APSCo manifesto pushes for Apprenticeship Levy reform

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) is advocating for a reform of the collection and use of the Apprenticeship Levy in its new manifesto.

The reform, unveiled in a multi-point manifesto today, would allow the levies collected from recruiters to be transferred to their clients or other parties.

The manifesto also calls for what it terms a ‘focused government-industry engagement’ through the appointment of a junior minister with a specific remit for flexible employment and engagement within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as well as a new tax and regulatory framework that differentiates highly skilled, highly paid professionals. 

The framework would provide a new status for incorporated independent professionals, which would recognise the right to waive statutory work protections such as the Agency Worker Regulations, said today’s announcement by the trade body.

Included also is a request for expedited visa processes to ensure that highly skilled specialist migrants can still be recruited into the UK economy where, APSCo emphasises, they will still be needed post-Brexit. APSCo suggests further that recruitment firms should be able to obtain the visa applications so that they can deliver services on client sites.

Samantha Hurley, APSCo’s director of operations, said in a prepared statement: “The labour market continues to tighten and access to professional talent remains key to growth and competitive advantage. We, along with many policy makers and academics see clearly that a complete review of employment status is urgently needed to ensure continued success in a post Brexit economy. 

“Political policy needs to recognise the changes taking place in the labour market and we will continue to engage with all political parties to call for future policy that is fit for purpose.”

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