New levy to double annual investment in home-grown skills

The apprenticeship levy has come into force ensuring employers and learners get the skills they need.

The government is officially launching its apprenticeship levy today (6 April 2017).

The levy will require all employers in the UK with an annual wage bill of over £3 million to pay 0.5% of it towards funding apprenticeships.

The money will be invested in quality training for apprentices and double the annual investment in apprenticeships in England to £2.5 billion by 2019 to 2020, compared with 2010 to 2011 levels.

Employers in England can set up an online account to manage their funds and invest in training for apprentices working for them. Currently around 100 accounts are being set up every day. The government will then provide a further 10% top up to levy contributions each month into employers’ accounts.

The levy will encourage employers to invest in high-quality apprenticeships ensuring even more people have a chance to reach their full potential.

Generous support will also be provided for smaller employers with an annual pay bill below £3 million and therefore not required to pay the levy. The government will pay 90% of the costs of training and assessing their apprentices.

In addition, comapnies with fewer than 50 employees that take on apprentices aged between 16 and 18 will have 100% of their training costs paid for.

In addition to the levy, the Institute for Apprenticeships was also launched this week. Independent from government, the institute has been launched to ensure that all apprenticeships are top quality and deliver the skills that employers need.