Reference number: FSB PR 12/2013 Responding to the Government announcement that it will consult businesses on drawing down apprenticeship funding directly John Allan, the Federation of Small Businesses'' (FSB) National Chairman, said: "The FSB agrees with the principle that employers should draw down the Government funding for Apprenticeships rather than the providers. This should create a more demand-led system and make providers more responsive to business need. However, getting any change to do with funding, or wider issues around Apprenticeships, right is crucial. The current Apprenticeships system has been subjected to constant change undermining the brand and leading to confusion. Therefore we strongly urge Government to take its time with any reforms so that they get it right first time to create a system that will last for decades to come. "The FSB looks forward to taking part in this consultation and considering which system would work best for small firms. The system must not require complicated administration, a significant increase in costs for small businesses, large upfront payments before funding is recovered or penalise employers if the Apprenticeship ends early."