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Training: To levy or not to levy?


The long-running issue of whether companies should be required to pay a training levy raises its head again in the Scotsman.

Writing for the publication, Keith Aitken takes a look at some recent research undertaken by Dr Christine Greenhalgh for the Institute of Fiscal Studies, which compares the systems in France, where an employer training levy has existed since the 1970s, and Britain, where initiatives have been focussed on encouraging employers and individuals to train for many years, to establish whether a training levy can work.

Aitken notes that Greenhalgh's study finds similar proportions of employees being trained in both countries, but the time spent on training in France is far greater. Employees in France, notes Aitken, can command higher wages and achieve better qualifications than their counterparts in the British system.

One factor both systems have in common, according to the report, is that they tend to spend more on training those already well-qualified. Aitken notes that Greenhalgh's study recommends that, if a levy system be brought in in the UK, it should be weighted towards those with fewer skills, and based on profits rather than payrolls.

What's your view on the training levy? An unfair drain on struggling companies, or a necessity if Britain's skills base is to be improved? Add your comments below:


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