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The changing face of apprenticeship funding

If you’re an employer operating in England with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you must pay an apprenticeship levy of 0.5% of your annual pay bill from 6th April 2017. There will be an annual allowance of £15,000 for each employer to offset against the levy and you will be able to access funding – contributed to by the Government – through a digital service account from the 1st May.


But for those who do not have such a substantial pay bill; there are changes to the apprenticeship funding system that you need to be aware of as the levy will not apply to you. Here is our summary of the key areas you need to be aware of.


Support with apprenticeship costs

Non-levy paying employers will share the cost of training and assessing their apprentices with Government – this is called ‘co-investment’.


From May 2017, you will pay 10% towards to the cost of apprenticeship training and Government will pay the rest (90%), up to the funding band maximum.


Employers with fewer than 50 employees will not be required to pay a contribution to the cost of the apprenticeship where the apprentice is aged 16 to 18 inclusive, or aged 19 to 24 inclusive if he or she has previously been in care or has a local authority education, health and care plan. The Government will pay 100% of the training and assessment costs in these circumstances.


Manage your apprenticeship training and assessment

If you do not pay the levy, you won’t be able to use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until at least 2018. Instead, you’ll need to agree a payment schedule with the provider and pay them directly for the training. The provider must prove that you have paid your contributions as a condition of Government paying its contribution.


There are two different types of apprenticeships to choose from:

  • apprenticeship standards – each standard covers a specific occupation and sets out the core skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need; they are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’
  • apprenticeship frameworks – a series of work-related vocational and professional qualifications, with workplace- and classroom-based training

To choose training:

If you have any questions surrounding the Levy and how you go about accessing funding, contact the Government Apprenticeship employer helpline on 08000 150 600 or email


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