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Thu 6th Apr 2017 - Deliveroo to open 30 kitchen hubs, employers confused about Apprenticeship Levy
Deliveroo to open 30 kitchen hubs to meet growing takeaway demand: Deliveroo plans to open 30 kitchen hubs in the UK this year to meet rapidly rising online demand for its takeaways. The app, which lets independent restaurants offer takeaway food through Deliveroo’s network of delivery drivers, is expanding by offering overflow kitchens occupied by extra chefs. It will allow restaurants to offer food in locations where they do not have a physical presence, or trial new areas to gauge demand. The bespoke kitchens will have space for five or six sets of chefs from different restaurants who will cook exclusively for Deliveroo orders. The company said its technology can determine the geographical places where certain cuisines are under-represented, and is inviting particular restaurants to match demand. It plans to launch 30 of the “Deliveroo Editions” hubs across ten UK cities this year, as well as opening more in Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Australia and Dubai. The company, which has raised almost $500m (£400m) and is seen as one of Britain’s most promising startups with a valuation of about $1bn, has been trialling the concept at three locations in London with restaurants including Fulham Shore-owned pizza chain Franco Manca and Korean street food outlet On The Bab. Deliveroo’s chief executive Will Shu told The Daily Telegraph: “By drawing on the unique technology that motors Deliveroo, we are able to identify gaps in the market and curate bespoke restaurant selections, meaning more choice for customers and the chance for our partners to scale. This is the biggest development in the market since Deliveroo first launched.” Meanwhile, Deliveroo has said it will remove a clause in its drivers contracts that “explicably requires its couriers to agree they are not workers and to agree not to challenge their self-employed status in court”. It comes after a parliamentary inquiry into the gig economy accused companies such as Deliveroo, Uber and Amazon of tricking or forcing their drivers and couriers into signing away their employment rights. The House of Commons work and pensions committee slammed the businesses for confusing contractors so they don’t understand their rights. It is the latest assault on the gig economy, which has been criticised for depriving workers of rights including holiday and sick pay, as well as guaranteed minimum wage.
 
Employers confused about new Apprenticeship Levy, new research reveals: The apprenticeship levy that comes into force today (Thursday, 6 April) will be met with confusion and ignorance by thousands of companies, according to new research. The government scheme, which the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers has previously warned will place a severe burden on employers in the licensed hospitality sector, aims to raise £3bn a year which will be used to encourage employers to invest in training and improve the quality apprenticeships, making them an attractive alternative to university. But research has revealed that many companies liable to pay the levy when it comes into force on April 6 are unaware of its existence and of those that do, many are don’t understand how it will work. Research by training organisation City & Guilds found one in three of the employers are unaware of the levy, and also revealed confusion about how the system will work among those who are aware of it. Under the scheme, companies whether public or private with an annual wage bill of £3m or more will have pay 0.5% of their staff cost into the fund, a system which will draw in about 22,000 companies. They will then be able to draw on the fund, which will get a 10% top-up from government, to pay for training courses, with the aim of creating three million apprentices by 2020. City & Guilds managing director Kirstie Donnelly told The Daily Telegraph: “Our research demonstrated that employers were still confused, with just a third saying they felt fully informed about the levy and very few understanding the huge range of jobs that can be filled by apprentices. If employers are to embrace the opportunities the new apprenticeship system could bring it’s important government gets the message out about the benefits, such as creating a strong pipeline of talent.”

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