What is the Apprenticeship Levy and how does it fund apprenticeship training?

The Apprenticeship Levy is a levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships. This is paid by employers with annual pay bills in excess of £3 million. Depending on if you pay the levy or not, this is how apprenticeship training is funded –

Wage bill over £3 million?

  • You will pay a levy of 0.5% on all wage over £3 million
  • The money will be placed into a digital account
  • 100% of your course fees are paid from your digital account

Wage bill under £3 million with more than 50 employees?

  • You don’t pay the apprenticeship levy
  • 95% of apprenticeship course fees are paid by the government, you pay the remaining 5%

Wage bill under £3 million with less than 50 employees?

  • You don’t pay the apprenticeship levy
  • 100% of apprenticeship course fees are paid by the government for apprentices aged 16-18
  • 95% of apprenticeship course fees are paid by the government, you pay the remaining 5% for apprentices aged 18+

How does a Primary Care organisation pay for training through the apprenticeship levy?

The plan by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is that all employers have digital accounts by the end of 2019. A digital account is an online system that allows apprenticeship transactions to take place and levy payers to manage their levy budget.

Levy payers were the initial priority, but this is now being rolled out to all employers. Until an employer who is a non-levy payer has a digital account, employers must agree a payment schedule with their apprenticeship training provider and pay them directly.

What training can be funded through the apprenticeship levy?

You can only use funds in your account to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment for apprentices that work at least 50% of the time in England, and only up to the funding band maximum for that apprenticeship.

You cannot use funds for the following costs –

  • Wages
  • Statutory licences to practise
  • Travel and subsidiary costs
  • Work placement programmes
  • Setting up of an apprenticeship programme

How to find apprenticeship training and training provision for apprenticeships

Apprenticeship training providers must be registered on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP). Currently, not all training providers can work with non-levy paying organisations.

To find apprenticeship standards and locate suitable training providers, the following website is available – https://findapprenticeshiptraining.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/

What is a levy transfer?

A levy transfer is a process a levy payer that is not utilising their apprenticeship levy funds can access to pay for the apprenticeship training of another employer. If that employer is a non-levy payer, it also means that employer can access the same training provision that levy payers can use.

There are many benefits to levy transfers and more information can be found at the following link – https://haso.skillsforhealth.org.uk/funding/#levy-transfer

Where can I find out more information?

Health Education England and Skills for Health have a dedicated website for apprenticeships in healthcare. This has updates on apprenticeship standards that have been approved, in development or being considers, toolkits and case studies. To find out more, visit – https://haso.skillsforhealth.org.uk/

Specifically, there is also a more detailed information pack for apprenticeships in primary care – https://haso.skillsforhealth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019.01.04-Apprenticeships-in-Primary-Care-v4.pdf