Who Pays and How Much?
The UK Government is aiming to create three million apprenticeships by 2020 and introduce new apprenticeship standards. From 6 April, all employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million are required to pay an annual 'Apprenticeship Levy' of 0.5 percent to fund the initiative.
The levy is paid by employers into a central pot, and each employer can then access its own account via an online portal known as the 'Apprenticeship Service'. Once an employer sets up its online account this will allow it to use the credits it gains from paying the Levy to choose and fund apprenticeship training.
The amount you have available to spend is calculated on a monthly basis as follows:
How To Use the Cash
Levy funds can be used (1) to employ apprentices, or (2) to upskill existing employees up to a funding-band maximum for each apprenticeship. The funding maximum will vary on the level and length of the apprenticeship you choose and is set by the Government. The Government has listed the range of approved apprenticeship schemes online, which are provided by specialist training providers.
If you haven't already done so, you can now create an account for the Apprenticeship Service to receive Levy funds, manage your apprentices and pay your training provider.
Maximise Your Returns
Increasing the number of apprenticeships also may increase the range of skills within your workforce, enabling you to create a new talent pool that addresses any skills shortage. There is no obligation to have a strict 'job description', so apprentices can be used flexibly throughout the business.