Apprenticeship Information for Employers

Apprenticeships for an Effective Skills Work Force

Apprenticeships can be used to train new or existing staff to provide an effective skilled work force.

Training is an incentive for many employees and can increase company loyalty as it can open up pathways for career progression and make staff feel valued.  This in turn can reduce staff turnover and increase productivity.

If you are a levy payer in England, your levy funds can be used for the training.  If you are not a levy payer, your apprenticeship training may be free or it may be co-financed.

Our apprenticeships are carefully designed around your business requirements, providing the skills needed to enable your business to grow and remain competitive.  What makes us different is our commitment to making our approach to training and development as flexible and tailor-made as we possibly can.

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Apprenticeship Reforms

Apprenticeship reforms have taken place and the way apprenticeships are funded, delivered and assessed has changed.  Employers have been placed in the driving seat to ensure apprenticeships are created by employers, for employers.

This has helped to drive up quality and ensure employer’s needs are met in addressing skills gaps and maximising potential for their business.

From May 1st 2017, the Apprenticeship Reforms were implemented and can be grouped under 3 key changes …

How Apprenticeships are funded

All apprenticeship standards have been assigned to a funding band.  This is now a more streamlined, simplified system to enable employers to select the correct apprenticeship standard and understand the costs associated with either funding from their apprenticeship levy or how much they may need to contribute.

Read more about Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Apprenticeship Frameworks to Apprenticeship Standards

Apprenticeship Standards have been developed by Employers through Trailblazer Groups (groups of Employers) which outline the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours an apprentice must be able to evidence prior to being deemed as competent in a particular job role.

Apprenticeship Standards allow for more flexibility, are clear and concise and replace Apprenticeship Frameworks.
Read more about the Apprenticeship Standards

Deeming Competence - End Point Assessment

All apprenticeship standards will have an end point assessment which will take place at the end of an apprenticeship.  The End Point Assessment Organisation will be led by an independent Assessment Organisation (who has no part in the delivery of the apprenticeship training therefore, ensuring impartiality)

See more details about End Point Assessment Organisations

What does this mean for you and your business?

The amount of your total UK payroll bill and the number of employees you have will determine how you’re affected by the reforms.

Click on the icon which best describes your business size to obtain a clear breakdown on what the reforms mean for you.

Less than 50 employees
< 50 employees

More than 50 employees
More than 50 employees

Over £3 Million
Over £3 Million

The Apprenticeship Levy

When is the Levy coming?

The levy will be introduced on April 6th 2017 with the first payments going out of organisations payrolls and to HMRC in May 2017.

Who will pay the Levy?

The levy will apply to both public and private employers across all sectors with a payroll bill in excess of £3m a year (it is not on the size of the organisation). The levy will be paid by all UK employers. Non levy payers (small employers with less than 50 staff) will have 90-100% of Apprenticeship funding paid for; 16-18’s or 19-24 SEND or care leavers. Non levy paying employers will not need to use the new system until May 2018. Based on current funding rules, the levy can only be used for approved apprenticeship training. (The levy cannot be used for overheads, supervision costs or apprentices’ wages).

How will the levy be paid?

The levy will be payable through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) and will be payable alongside income tax and National Insurance. To keep the process as simple as possible ‘paybill’ will be based on total employee earnings subject to Class 1 secondary NICs. The policy intention is that employers will calculate and pay the levy on a monthly basis. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will engage with employers to discuss and assess the impact on them.

How much will the levy be?

The apprenticeship levy will be set at 0.5% of an employer’s wage bill in April 2017. Businesses can apply for a digital account from January 2017. Levy funds paid in April will appear in their digital account to use for Apprenticeship training providers can access from May 17 and will be lost after 24 months if employers do not use it. However, each employer will receive one annual allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. Levy-payers will also receive a 10% monthly top-up into their digital levy account to spend on training. There will be a connected person’s rule, similar to employment allowance connected persons rule, so employers who operate multiple payrolls will only be able to claim one allowance. So for every £1 an employer pays in, they can draw down £1.10 to spend on apprenticeship training through their digital account.

Example: A company with a payroll of £3m would need to make a levy payment of £15,000. But there is an offset of £15,000 so that in practice only companies with a payroll of over £3m will pay anything, so in the case of this employer their levy payment would be zero.

Why Levy?

To address the lack of employer demand for Apprenticeships, the Government has set a target to increase the amount of UK Apprentices to 3 million by 2020. The aim of the Levy is to empower employers to get what they need from the training market by improving the skills of their workforce, which in turn will help organisations to succeed and grow.

Who sets the cost of the training?

All employers must choose a training provider and negotiate the cost of the training.  Government funding caps will be set on each apprenticeship. This is the upper limit to which Government funding can be used to pay for an apprentice’s training. The proposed 15 new funding bands range from £1,500 to £27,000.

A full breakdown of the provisional funding bands for apprenticeships is available from Apprenticeship funding from May 2017; the new bands replace the old apprenticeship framework rates, which varied by age. To help employers adjust to the new funding levels as they move from apprenticeship Frameworks to new apprenticeship Standards, the Government has announced an additional 20% increase in funding for 16-18 year olds. This will apply to funding for apprenticeship Frameworks only, with funding levels for apprenticeship Standards to be set through the Trailblazer process. This additional money will be provided to training providers directly, rather than through an employer’s Digital Account.   The training provider will also receive a £1,000 incentive. This reflects the Government’s commitment to have more young people in apprenticeships and support employers with additional costs.  The Government further proposes to incentivise employers that take on a 16-18 year old, with a £1,000 payment – paid at 3 and 12 months into the apprenticeship.  If a small employer (those with fewer than 50 employees) takes on a 16-18 year old apprentice, they will be exempt from paying the 10% co-investment. The training costs will be fully covered by Government (as long as they are within the funding cap).

Useful Websites to access more information:

Skills Funding Agency – Estimate my apprenticeship funding

Apprenticeship funding: how it will work

Email:

apprenticeships.levy@bis.gsi.gov.uk

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