29 November 2017

The apprenticeship levy has been brought in by government to encourage skills growth and productivity in the UK. The National Apprenticeship Service (part of the Education and Skills Funding Agency) found that 92 per cent of employers believe apprenticeship programmes lead to a more motivated, satisfied and productive workforce¹.

But, new research has found that two-thirds of employers are not using their apprenticeship levy funds². Perhaps this is because fewer than four in ten eligible businesses said they fully understood the levy.

Without the advice or knowledge around how the levy can be used in businesses, it becomes challenging for organisations to make decisions around how to use this new fund.

What opportunities are there to use the apprenticeship levy?

Our apprenticeship solutions experts have identified three ways organisations across the UK are making the most of their levy contributions:

1. Retaining high performers

It can be a worry thinking of ways to keep hold of your best talent. Apprenticeships present an opportunity to retain employees, by offering them a built-in progression plan. You can offer development opportunities for your employees – they gain recognised qualifications whilst they work (they can even get a degree through degree apprenticeships), while you benefit from their skills development as well as their retention. For example, you can create leadership programme through leadership and management apprenticeships to develop and retain the leaders in your business.

Typically apprenticeships are between 1-3 years in duration (depending on the level of the apprenticeships), and as a result of our programmes we find that 92% of QA apprentices remain with their employer after completing their apprenticeship.

This combined means the apprenticeship levy can help make long term retention a reality.

2. Attracting new talent

Talent attraction is one of the greatest opportunities the levy provides. New hires don’t just bring new skills, they bring fresh ideas, challenge conventions and open doors to new opportunities for organisations across the board.

We’ve seen businesses use their levy contributions to build new pockets of talent they wouldn’t normally have access to. Apprenticeships are great at attracting diverse, local talent into your business. This can help you with a multitude of business needs – you could use them to expand your IT help desk team, or build specialist teams of cyber defenders or marketing masters to reduce outsourcing costs.

3. Upskilling people within your business

Business and technology are evolving quicker than ever. More and more we are helping businesses thrive by meeting the ever changing needs their industry presents with apprenticeships.


Existing staff can take an apprenticeship to build on their skills or learn something new. For example, need to build your cyber security capability? You can offer a cyber security apprenticeship to your existing IT staff to help them develop skills in this area and build a cyber specialist team. This principle will work in any area, from marketing to project management. Our experts can go through the options with you and help you find staff that would be eligible for the programme.

You get to utilise your levy contribution in the process, whilst filling skills gaps.

Download our Apprenticeship Levy Guide here

How do QA help businesses get the most from their levy contributions?

We’re committed to working hand-in-hand consulting and advising our clients on what the levy will mean for them. We’ve crafted our apprenticeship services to help our clients use their levy funds to develop effective talent solutions.

1. Consult

We'll work with you to understand what your levy commitment will be and then explore what value looks like for your business.

2. Advise

We'll analyse how you can use the levy to meet your current talent needs and give you clear recommendations mapped to those needs.

3. Implement

From hiring one apprentice, to implementing a large-scale talent development programme across multiple departments, we'll help you to implement the right levy talent solution for your business.

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