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Published in Sports Management 04 Apr 2016 issue 117
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George Osborne must clarify details of apprenticeships levy

Gary Denton,

Director of Marginal Gains ,

Icon Training


At Icon Training, we welcome the news of a 10 per cent top up on the levy contributions for employers. Apprenticeships are the cornerstone of front line roles in the sport and physical activity sector and offer the best opportunity for effective, on the job training when utilised correctly.

We are, however, calling on George Osborne to provide greater clarity, as there are far too many unanswered questions – such as how the government plans to administer the levy and how it will affect the 98 per cent of employers left outside of it.

Our sector is at risk due to lack of unity and a long-term overreliance on bodies which have failed to engage with employers’ needs. The only ray of light we’ve seen recently has been the work CIMSPA has carried out in uniting large employers to support the development of our current trailblazer.

There is, however, still work to be done on gaining the support of SMEs.At Icon, we believe the sector needs to develop standards at all levels in order to professionalise itself and gain greater credibility in line with other sectors. Work by organisations such as the Chartered Management Institute, through its Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, is showing us the way.

Ultimately, employers need to embrace the changes as there is a need for greater skill levels and management competencies delivered through a level 1 to 7 career pathway – as suggested by recent workforce development research.

With a forward thinking sector we can ensure the futures of the next generation.

Apprenticeships are increasingly popular / shutterstock
Apprenticeships are increasingly popular/ shutterstock

Sugar levy can help develop the physical literacy of young people and reverse inactivity

Phil Chamberlain,

External Relations Director,

Youth Sport Trust


The chancellor’s best-kept budget secret – a sugar tax on soft drinks, to pay for a doubling of the PE and Sport Premium – has the potential to make a transformational change and maximise the health and wellbeing outcomes for young people.

This investment will help schools get the support they need to develop the physical literacy of young people. We hope this will enable all children and young people to become competent and confident movers as they progress through school – which we know can improve academic achievement.

There will also be an annual £285m investment for schools in the secondary sector to opt into a longer school day. This investment will enable schools to offer a wide range of sporting activities and help to reverse the trend of inactivity that sets in as young people progress through secondary school.

The Youth Sport Trust stands ready to support schools to maximise this investment and we hope that more join our membership so that they can access works leading professional development, programme interventions and inspirational athlete mentor support.

"We hope this will enable all children to become confident movers at school"

 / shutterstock
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