Bishop Donald is in attendance in the House of Lords this week (Monday 25th to Friday 29th June) representing the Diocese of Peterborough in Parliament. As the designated Duty Bishop, he is also opening proceedings each day by leading the House in prayer.
On Monday, he took part in a debate on the effectiveness of the Apprenticeship Levy introduced by the government in April, which aims to raise £3 billion a year in order to fund the introduction of 3 million apprentices nationwide by 2020.
In response to Viscount Younger of Leckie, Bishop Donald asked: “My Lords, is the Minister aware that for small businesses and voluntary organisations, the process of drawing up the standards is very complicated and time-consuming, that there is little guidance on this and no financial help for it from government, and that since the levy was introduced, the grant for apprenticeships has fallen from £6,000 for an 18-year-old to £2,500 – so the YMCA tells me? That makes it unviable for the YMCA to offer apprenticeships.”
In response, Viscount Younger of Leckie said: “I understand what the right reverend Prelate says. However, we have increased the funding for providers, particularly on the non-levy side. I hope that he can be reassured that small businesses are being helped by our encouraging better providers for them.”
You can view the speech and its response below: