Skills, Education & Training

Education, skills and training is always a field of interest and concern to many businesses – large and small.  Access to a talented workforce is often cited by Chamber members as a barrier to growth.  Many businesses are keen to invest in recruitment, training and staff development, recognising that it can serve not only their own performance and future, but also their sector and the surrounding economy in which they operate.

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is working with stakeholders in each of our three geographical areas to ensure that the business voice is heard on this topic, and that suitable support systems are in place to help our businesses find the right talent, offer the appropriate personal development, and plug the skills gaps and shortages that exist.

As well as working with local stakeholders, including Bradford’s Education & Skills Board, Leeds University Technical College and York’s Employment & Skills Board, we liaise with regional and national partners – the Chamber is represented on the Leeds City Region Digital Skills Partnership and on the British Chambers of Commerce Employment & Skills Group.

The Chamber runs or is involved with a range of initiatives that support learning and connecting business to young people, and is also represented on several stakeholder bodies to provide business input into decision-making in this area.

Education organisations are on all three of our key policy-making groups in Bradford, Leeds and York & North Yorkshire, and we have many schools and education-related charities in membership.

For more information on the Chamber’s work on skills, education and training, email



Apprenticeships are also a great way to bring new talent into a business.  Government information about taking on an apprentice can be found here.

Apprentice Levy – What is it?

A mechanism, introduced in 2017, to fund apprenticeship training, companies with a payroll of £3m or higher pay a levy equivalent to 0.5% of their pay bill. Employers will each have an allowance of £15,000 and so companies whose calculated levy amount falls below this figure will not be expected to pay anything.

Other info on the levy:

  • All funds will be topped up by 10% through a government contribution
  • You have two years to spend the allowance
  • If you don’t pay the levy, government will pay 90% of an apprenticeship cost
  • If you have fewer than 50 staff, government will pay all costs for a young apprentice
  • Employers must pay the training provider for the delivery of apprenticeships.

Chambers of Commerce have called for reform of the levy system to make it easier for business to use and therefore improve its effectiveness, including being cited in a House of Commons briefing paper in 2018, and signing a ‘ten-point plan’ with the Chartered Management Institute.