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    Please find below an open letter published today (13 Jun) from representatives from government, business schools, businesses and other organisations – including Sony, Airbus, Barclays, Santander, Euan Blair’s start-up WhiteHat, the Sutton Trust, the Chartered Management Institute, Aston Martin and the British Library – defending the apprenticeship levy.

    We’ve all seen first-hand that apprenticeships can change the lives of apprentices – and the businesses they work with – for the better; and we believe that the apprenticeship levy gives employers a real opportunity to invest in training, bringing the well-recognised enthusiasm and new ideas of apprentices to their business.

    Employers are developing new, high-quality apprenticeships, at all levels, all the time. World-leading companies like Google, Facebook and Sage are kicking off new apprenticeships in sectors at the cutting edge – and that’s great to see. 

    We’re also pleased to see more people starting on new higher and advanced level apprenticeships; these are a passport into a range of exciting industries, including nuclear, food science, law, engineering, professional services, construction, and digital technology.

    The new Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship has proven popular with over 900 people starting on it since the start of 2015/16, and more than 1,700 people have now started a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, giving them the chance to advance into leadership roles. Degree apprenticeships are being rolled out across a variety of subjects, with over 100 higher education institutions now on board.

    We need to make sure business has the skilled workers it needs - at all levels; and the jobs of tomorrow are likely to require a greater focus on technical education. So while it is fantastic that apprenticeship opportunities are becoming more diverse and high quality, there is more we can all do.

    University should not continue to be viewed as the only route to a successful career. Giving people choice is essential, whether they pursue a technical route or an academic one. That’s why we should support employers in making use of the levy, and in providing opportunities for people to learn, earn, and get on in life.

    Anne Milton, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister

    Sir Gerry Berragan, CEO, Institute for Apprenticeships

    Euan Blair and Sophie Adelman, Co-Founders, WhiteHat

    Steve Dalton, Managing Director, Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations Corporation

    Andy Palmer, President & CEO, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd

    Mark Stewart, General Manager and HR Director, Airbus

    Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships, Barclays

    Bruce Carnegie-Brown, Chairman of Lloyd’s of London, Chairman of Group, Vice-Chairman of Banco Santander BA

    Sir Peter Lampl, Founder, Sutton Trust

    Dalton Leong, Chief Executive, The Children's Trust

    Dame Louise Makin, CEO, BTG plc

    Phil Spence, Chief Operating Officer, The British Library

    Chris Blackburn, Pro Vice-Chancellor & Dean, Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University

    Timothy Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor & Principal, University of Chester

    Baback Yazdani, Dean of Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University

    Professor Angus Laing FRSA Dean, Lancaster University Management School

    Lucy Ireland, Managing Director, British Computer Society Learning & Development

    Karen Price OBE, CEO, Tech Partnership

    Ann Francke, CEO, Chartered Management Institute

    Joanne Gogerly, Operations Manager, Siemens

    Paul Devoy, Chief Executive, Investors in People

    Gail Bayes, Deputy Director of NTW Academy Development, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust

    Rosalind Penny, Assistant Director of Organisation Development, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

    Krista Brown, Recruitment Director, the SES Group

    Dr Rami Ranger CBE, Chairman, Sun Mark

    Gemma Simmonds, Head of Career and Development, Colas Rail

    Ben Rowland, Co-Founder, Arch Apprentices

    Anne Thomas, Head of Serco Education, Serco UK & Europe

    John Jeffcock, Chief Executive, Winmark C-Suite

    Paul Cadman, H.R. Director, Walter Smith Fine Foods Ltd

    Bridget Bartlett, Chair of Construction and Built Environment Education Advisory Committee, Trustee of University College of Estate Management 

    Jeannette Lichner, Managing Director, KOF Business Solutions

    Gillian Wilmot, Chairman of UK Coaching, Senet, Board Mentoring, Member of the Industrial Development Advisory Board

    Justin Rix, Partner, Grant Thornton UK LLP

    David A Hare, Associate Director, Talent Solutions, Growth Services, Grant Thornton UK LLP

    Christopher Bones, Chairman & Co-Founder, Good Growth Limited

    Zoe Cunningham, Managing Director, Softwire

    Robert Vince, Director, JRV Associates Ltd

    Chris McLaughlin, Leadership Learning Manager, Ricoh UK

    Dawn Ward CBE, Chief Executive and Principal, Burton and South Derbyshire College

    Duncan Cheatle, CEO, Learn Amp

    Garry Phillips, CEO, West London College

    Karen Jones, Group Human Resources Director, Redrow Homes Limited

    Mark Kenrick, CEO, px limited 

    Dylan Hannigan, Education Manager, KFC UK & Ireland

    Matt Chamberlain, Apprenticeship Business Partner, Wirral University Teaching Hospital

    Brian May, Managing Director, Berthon Boat Company Ltd

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