CSA hits back at IFS report
The CSA has hit back at negative claims made in a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies about the impending apprenticeship levy
The apprenticeship levy introduced by the government, due to start this April, is a 0.5 percent tax on all employers with a wage bill of £3m or more.
The CSA disagreed with a claim made in the IFS report that suggests only a fraction of the cash being raised by the new levy on firms of a certain size will be spent on apprenticeships.
The CSA also disagreed with another IFS claim that said the increasing number of apprentices ‘could sacrifice quality for quantity’.
Fiona Macaskill, head of learning and development at the CSA, said that the IFS report is both unhelpful and misguided.
She said: “It fails to take into account the boost it will give to some of the more under-invested areas of the financial services community, and in particular those working in collections and credit management.
“The levy is not an excuse for channelling current training investment into apprenticeships; it provides an opportunity of creating something genuinely ‘new’.”
Macaskill also said the levy will raise the employer’s commitment to, and awareness of, training and development and provide them with more control of the design and quality of the apprenticeship training that is delivered.
However, the IFS has said employers will use the new scheme as an opportunity to re-label existing training schemes as apprenticeships.
Macaskill said the debt collection industry has already created a number of specific apprenticeship standards that will be offered and supported by the CSA.
She said: “These range from the new standard in financial services credit controller/collector through to the most advanced senior compliance/risk specialist apprenticeship standard.”