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Nearly two-thirds of business owners and managers have 'never heard of the Apprenticeship Levy', according to a new survey.

In addition, 93% said they won't or don't know if they will make use of it.

The findings come from CIPD course providers DPG during National Apprenticeship Week.

DPG said the survey highlights the need for the government to better promote and demystify the levy, particularly if it's to hit its target of creating three million new apprenticeships by 2020. A recent freedom of information request revealed that four of five businesses paying the levy are yet to take on a single apprentice.

Over a quarter (27%) of business owners and managers didn't see the benefit of offering apprenticeships, and 17% said they didn't see the point of apprenticeships at all.

Of the 43% who said they would not be using the levy said so because there were no apprenticeships available for their industry.

Sarah Aubrey, CEO at DPG, said: "These findings certainly highlight the need for a more focused approach to communicating the levy and its benefits.

"The great range of business skills that can be developed through apprenticeships is a really positive thing and they can bring constructive change for all sorts of businesses. The problem is that government needs to make this more obvious and more about the skills and benefits than the money itself.

"Making more of a drive towards selling apprenticeships and their benefits is the way to go. They can be incredibly enriching, not just when it comes to increasing in-house skills, but also on a personal fulfilment level for employees."