What is the Apprenticeship Levy?
The Apprenticeship Levy was created by the government to support the creation and funding of apprenticeships across many different professional fields. If an organisation has an annual wage bill of £3 million, then they automatically pay 0.5% of their wage bill into the Apprenticeship Levy. All organisations can receive an ‘offset allowance’ of £15,000 to support apprenticeships, which is equivalent to 0.5% of £3 million.
Where does the Levy go?
Each organisation’s Levy funding is held in a government managed Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). The government will top-up the funding total in the digital account by 10%. Funding in the digital account will however, expire after 24 months.
How can employers access Levy funding?
When a Levy paying employer identifies De Montfort University (DMU) as their training provider, they enter the details on the DAS. This allows the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to link the employer to DMU using the United Kingdom Provider Reference Number (UKPRN). For DMU this is 10001883.
What happens if an employer over-spends their Levy?
Co-investment funding (which is for all non-levy organisations) is still available to levy paying employers who wish to spend above their levy allocation. In this instance the government will fund 90% of the apprentice fees with the employer investing 5%.
What if an employer doesn't pay the Apprenticeship Levy?
All organisations can now access Higher and Degree Apprenticeships at DMU through the government apprenticeship service. Apprenticeships can be reserved up to three months in advance, with three apprentices reserved per organisation. From now until autumn, up to 15,000 apprenticeships are available via this route.
Can non-levy paying employers receive transferred apprenticeship funds?
Levy paying organisations can transfer up to a maximum of 25% of their levy funding to any other employer (Levy paying or not). Levy paying companies can transfer this 25% to organisations within their service delivery or to any non-levy paying organisation. Transfer payments will also be made monthly from the transferring employer’s Levy account. If the transferring employer runs out of the funds, then the employer receiving the funds will return to the co-investment model.
Are there other incentives for non-levy paying employers?
If the apprentice is aged between 16-18 on the start of the apprenticeship (or 19-24 with an EHC plan/been in local authority care) and the employer has less than 50 employees, then 100% of the apprenticeship is government funded.
What can the funding be used for?
- Only training that is directly related to the skills, knowledge and behaviours of the apprenticeship can be funded
- Training licenses required for the specific job role
- Planned on-programme assessment (progress reviews) and the formal End Point Assessment (EPA)
- Materials (non-capital items that are necessary to enable a particular learning activity)
- Administration directly linked to the training and assessment
What is separate from the funding?
- Apprentice wages
- Travel/subsistence costs
- Enrolment, induction, prior assessment, initial diagnostic testing or similar activity
- Personal protective clothing and safety equipment required by the apprentice to carry out their day-to-day work
- Any training, optional modules, educational trips or trips to professional events in excess of those required to achieve the apprenticeship standard
How can non-levy paying organisations reserve funding?
The Education and Skills funding Agency (ESFA) who are responsible for apprenticeship funding have moved to a digital system for non-levy employers by which they will be able to make ‘reservations’ for funding for up to ten apprenticeship starts. The funding will be reserved for three months after which time this funding will expire and a new reservation will have to be made. For information on how to reserve funding, click here.