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A former skills adviser to the government has proposed a radical overhaul of the apprenticeship levy that would see nearly all small and medium sized businesses having to pay into the pot.

Business leaders however warn it will be a “retrograde measure” and “yet another tax burden detrimental to the economic growth that springs from SMEs”.

The EDSK think tank has published a report called ‘Changing Courses’ which proposes to split the current apprenticeship levy into separate funds for apprenticeships and skills training, with more businesses paying into it.

Report authors Tom Richmond – a former adviser to Department for Education ministers – and Eleanor Regan propose converting the levy into an ‘apprenticeships and skills levy’ which would see all businesses with 10 employees or more contribute 0.4 per cent of their annual payroll costs to the fund.

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