Apprenticeship Levy should be 'retained locally'

Dominic Browne

The Apprenticeship Levy should be retained locally as part of moves to support 'local productivity deals' between councils and key businesses, a leading think tank has suggested.

A new report from Localis Prosperous Communities, Productive Places suggests local authorities should work with 'local economic anchors' to secure commitments on anything from regular meetings to detailed economic agreements.

These would have a wider social value aspect, helping boost jobs, wages, infrastructure and housing supply to prevent residents being priced out of their own areas through so-called ‘doughnut economies’.

This is where the wages of residents remain far lower than those of the commuters who journey into their areas to work with major local firms.

A local levy?

One part of this would be further devolution of skills funding under the Apprenticeship Levy to help councils work with businesses on local qualifications.

'Where funding is available, local businesses should be able to shape its investment. The recent flexibility for the Apprenticeship Levy to be used in supply chains is welcome, but greater control of source funding to promote, scale supply and deliver skills provision matched to local need should be provided. The potential to develop local qualifications with business should be explored,' the report states.

'Empowerment of strategic authorities to oversee the levy collected within their area would enable oversight of digital accounts, monitoring take-up in key sectors, direction of unutilised levy to fund local apprenticeships and the tailoring of activities linked to LIS [Local Industrial Strategies]. Meanwhile, places must use the powers they have to make the system work for them as best as possible.'

Highways has revealed that billions remains unclaimed by employers as the 24-month rolling deadline on accessing funds approaches.

Local authorities could help co-ordinate a local public sector innovation offer for companies signing up to deals 'providing greater access to data, markets and finance, skills supply chain development and spatial planning'.

There is also a case study of how a local productivity deal might work between West Sussex Council, which commissioned the report, and Gatwick airport.

The report also states: 'Devolution to non-metropolitan areas of spatial planning and skills should be an urgent priority for Government. A step-change is needed in devolution in non-metropolitan areas.'

Gatwick case study

'A productivity and prosperity deal between Gatwick and West Sussex County Council would establish a new way of way of working to support both the economic and social prosperity of the county.

'The aim is balance place and community prosperity with business productivity, realising a 'balanced scorecard' for both business and residential communities.'

West Sussex County Council Economic Growth Plan 2018-2033

Priority objectives are areas for action are defined:

• We will develop a stronger business proposition in a wide zone of opportunity around Gatwick.

• We will work with partners to unlock and enable space for growing businesses around Gatwick and in the north east of the county.

• We will support West Sussex residents to benefit from opportunities arising in and around Gatwick

• We will ensure the town centres are business and visitor ready.

• We will work with partners to secure infrastructure investment to enable business and productivity growth in the north east of the county

Specific measures of success are likely to include:

  • increased business count / business count per 1,000 residents
  • increased proportion of employment in higher value business and professional services
  • higher resident and workplace earnings
  • commercial floor space built every year
Highways jobs

Team Leader - Transport Planning

North Yorkshire County Council
£42,683 to £46,503 plus relocation support
Do you have a proven track record in Transport and Planning at a senior level? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety) & Environmental Health Technical Officer

Dacorum Borough Council
£24,710 to £39,034
You will be highly motivated and be expected to deliver against a challenging work plan. London (Greater)
Recruiter: Dacorum Borough Council


Cambridgeshire County Council
£33,153 - £35,755
As an Engineer, you will be required to lead the delivery of a wide range of highway improvements and maintenance projects to deliver... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Highways Projects Technician

Cambridgeshire County Council
£18,795 - £21,166
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire and... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,589 - £31,371
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire and... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Traffic Management Group Manager

Devon County Council
This is an exciting time for the Service with the immediate introduction of a new Permit scheme and significant programme of redesign and... Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Ecological Consultant

Essex County Council
£22000 - £25000 per annum
Closing date
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Senior Engineer (Street Lighting & Furniture)

Hackney London Borough Council
£39,543 - £44,373
The role requires an individual who can demonstrate a track record of project and contract management relating to... Hackney, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Highways Engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31.548 - £33.291
You will be part of a wider team all focused on delivering a first class service.   Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Asset Management Technical Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £38,423
You will be responsible for providing technical support, including user support, identifying and implementing improvements and... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Environmental Improvement Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£29,636 - £33,799 per annum
We have an exciting opportunity to recruit to the position of Environmental Improvement Officer within Regulatory Services. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Legal Officer - Planning and Highways

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£26,999 - £29,636
Kirklees Legal Services is one of the largest legal practices in the area and carries out and commissions legal work required by the Council Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road Safety Engineer / Road Safety Auditor (all levels of experience)

TMS Consultancy
By negotiation
Purpose of the Job Depending on individual experience, candidates will be involved in a range of road safety engineering and traffic management pro... Coventry
Recruiter: TMS Consultancy

Senior Technical Officer

Newport City Council
£30,507 - £33,799
We are pleased to be seeking individuals to fill a new Senior Technical Officer post within Highways.    Newport (Casnewydd)
Recruiter: Newport City Council

Senior Technical Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £29,636
The successful candidate will feed into the planning process, assessing applications in accordance with the... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Technical Support Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£21.591 - £25.809
Using your administrative and communication skills to the full, you’ll provide invaluable support across our busy Directorate.  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Assistant Tree Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£25,880 - £27,904
Looking for an assistant tree officer to join a busy Tree Section working with the most up to date arboriculture equipment’s and IT resources.   Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Green Space Partnership Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£30,066 - £34,538
You will have excellent written and presentation skills including experience of preparation of reports, briefings, minutes of meetings and... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Projects Manager

Brent Council
£45,585 - £48,482 p.a. inc.
As Parking Projects Manager, you will be responsible for leading the delivery, to time and budget, of key parking projects... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Parking Operations Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Are you a hard-working individual, who enjoys working outdoors in all weather conditions? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue
  • Highways England at Westminster
  • Traffex Scotland and Bridges Scotland guide
  • Highways Awards winners
View the latest issue

Latest Video