This article has been put together to offer employers guidance about how to access spend Apprenticeship Levy funds. After the 2015 Budget, the Chancellor announced the Apprenticeship Levy as a way to reach the target of 3 million apprenticeships by the year 2020. Around 2% of English employers pay the Apprenticeship Levy, and many more businesses benefit by receiving funds for training new apprentices. Extra help has been promised for employers taking on apprentices aged 16 to 19 and care leavers.
Why is the government introducing the Levy?
The government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy to help employers to enrich the workforce through training apprentices to the highest standards. Previously, not enough was being done to help this process. When the Levy was introduced more opportunities for businesses and apprentices throughout England were created.
How do I access my Levy funds?
If you pay the Apprenticeship Levy, you start the process by creating a digital account. The digital account will be a portal to funds, training, and assessment. Levy funds are paid as digital vouchers. It is hoped that all employers will use the Digital Apprenticeship Service by 2020.
What are the Levy funds for?
Levy funds can only be spent on training and assessment for your apprentices. You can’t use Levy funds for any other costs associated with employment. Top up payments of 10% will be made to your digital account with the Levy payment each month.
When will apprenticeships be funded?
Apprenticeships started from May are eligible for funding if you pay the Apprenticeship Levy. Funding will also be available for non-Levy paying apprentices. More companies benefit from the new service from 2018. The Digital Apprenticeship Service gives employers the extra help they need with funding issues.
What extra help is available for businesses taking on school and care leavers?
Employers who take on 16 to 18-year-olds or young people leaving care, the government has promised extra support to help with employment costs.
Accessing the Digital Apprenticeship Service
You can access the digital service by setting up an online account. Levy payments from the government go into this account. The Digital Apprenticeship Service is available for companies paying the Apprenticeship Levy. By 2020, it is hoped that all businesses will arrange and pay for training using the Digital Apprenticeship Service.
What can I do now?
You can read all about the new employer guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/