The Government has published details on the apprenticeships levy, which it intends to introduce in April 2017, to help fund new apprenticeships. The levy will provide funding that each employer can use to meet their individual needs.

The levy will be set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill (i.e. total employee earnings but not including benefits in kind). However, employers will receive an annual allowance of £15,000 against the levy. This means that the levy will only be payable if the employer’s pay bill exceeds £3 million per year and over 98% of employers are expected to be exempt from paying the levy. Connected employers, such as a group of companies, will however only receive one allowance. The levy will be collected by HMRC through PAYE.

Employers in England will be able to access funding for training through the Digital Apprenticeships Service. Employers who pay the levy will be able to access more funding than they have put in, through Government top- ups. However, levy funding which is not used within two years will expire, making it available for other employers.

Although the apprenticeship levy will apply across the whole of the UK, as apprenticeships are a devolved matter in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, sep- arate arrangements will need to be made by the Gov- ernment for giving employers in those parts of the UK access to the fund.