Apprenticeship Levy

Whether you want to upskill existing employees or bring in new talent, the Apprenticeship Levy is the smartest way to build your long-term pipeline of digital talent.

The Apprenticeship Levy - funded by UK Department for Education

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What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy is a government initiative that provides businesses with dedicated funding for the hiring and training of apprentices.

If your organisation has an annual wage bill of more than £3 million, you will have a levy fund that you can use.

This levy funding is for the sole purpose of recruiting and training apprentices. If you aren't using your apprenticeship levy fund, you're missing out on funded training and talent, which could support in filling the critical skills gaps in your business. 

A key benefit of the Apprenticeship Levy is that is an affordable way to bring in new talent and fill digital skills gaps in your organisation.

Smaller organisations can also benefit from the apprenticeship levy through a levy transfer. This is where a larger, levy-paying organisation pledges a portion of their unused funding to help businesses nurture new talent.

Get in touch with our team to discuss Apprenticeship Levy transfer. 

Need to know

Frequently Asked Questions

What can the Apprenticeship Levy be used for?

Apprenticeship Levy funding can only be used to recruit and train apprentices. A businesses that does not use or transfer their funding to another business, will lose access to it.

It is designed to benefit both small and large businesses, by nurturing new talent, which in-turn boosts the UK tech industry.

How does the Apprenticeship Levy work for smaller organisations?

Employers with fewer than 50 people working for them are able to train, at no cost, apprentices aged 16-18 or aged 19-24 who have previously been in care or who have an Education, Health and Care plan. These employers are not required to contribute the 5% co-investment; instead, the government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals up to the funding band maximum.

Who pays for the Apprenticeship Levy?

Only businesses with pay a bill over £3m contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy, but the scheme can benefit businesses large and small.  

Levy paying businesses can manage and find out more information about their levy funds online.

How can I access funding?

Levy paying employers access their funds through the online Apprenticeship Service. The funds in their accounts are available to spend on apprenticeship training in England. The amount of funding that an employer paying the Apprenticeship Levy can access is linked to the value of their levy contributions, the proportion of employees living in England plus a government top-up.

How is the Apprenticeship Levy paid?

Funds will be taken in month – and available to spend in the following. All payments will be ‘one month in arrears’. Employers will receive a 10% top up to monthly funds entering their Apprenticeship Service account.

Do the funds expire?

All funds that appear in the Apprenticeship Service accounts of employers who pay the levy expire 24 months after they appear in the account.

What if I’ve used all the funds in our Apprenticeship Levy?

If you have used all funds available in your Apprenticeship Levy, the 5% contribution will apply, requiring you to pay 5% of the total cost of any additional apprenticeships.

How can I set up an account on the Apprenticeship Service?

Levy paying employers will need:

An email address you have access to

The Government Gateway login for your organisation (or you can use the accounts office reference number and employer PAYE scheme reference number if your annual pay bill is less than £3 million)

Authority to add PAYE schemes to the account

Authority to accept the employer agreement on behalf of your organisation

A small employer who does not pay the Apprenticeship Levy can use the PAYE scheme reference number (also known as ERN number) and your account office reference number (AORN).

When was the Apprenticeship Levy introduced?

The Apprenticeship Levy programme began in April 2017, announced by the UK government as a way to help businesses deliver essential training and recruit new apprenticeship talent. Levy-paying businesses could originally transfer 10% of their funds to smaller businesses, but this was increased to 25% in 2019.

How do I pay the training provider QA?

The training provider (QA) will be paid the agreed cost of the apprenticeship, up to the funding band maximum and will get:

80% of the cost in equal monthly payments throughout the apprenticeship

The final 20% when the apprentice completes their apprenticeship

Your training provider will receive Apprenticeship Service funds in equal monthly payments.

Why QA

With over 30,000 apprenticeships placed to date, it’s clear why 68 of the UK’s top 100 apprenticeship employers trust QA for their digital apprenticeships.

Our award-winning approach to blended learning helps apprentices develop further and faster, whilst enabling managers to track progress via real-time dashboards.

We have programmes focusing on the most in-demand tech skills, including Cyber, IT, software development, data and digital marketing, as well as project management and senior leadership.

Get in touch with our team to discuss your requires and make the most of your apprenticeship levy.

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0113 220 7150 (UK)

(415) 630-5133 (US)

If you're an individual interested in starting an apprenticeship, find out more here

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