Government officially launched a new Apprenticeship levy on 6 April 2017 as part of a skills shake up. 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 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. It is designed to encourage employers to invest in high-quality Apprenticeships.
Employers in England can set up an online account to manage their funds and invest in training for apprentices working for them. The government will then provide a further 10% top up to levy contributions each month into employers’ accounts.
Employers with an annual pay bill below £3 million and therefore not required to pay the levy will receive 90% of the costs of training and assessing their apprentices from government. Companies with fewer than 50 employees that take on apprentices aged between 16 and 18 will have 100% of their training costs paid for.
Skills Minister Robert Halfon said: “More than 90% of apprentices go into work or further training, and the quality on-the-job training on offer will make sure we have the people with the skills, knowledge and technical excellence to drive our country forward.
“Building an Apprenticeship and skills nation is essential in ensuring that we have the home-grown workforce we need in post-Brexit Britain to address the skills shortages facing industry and give everyone the chance to succeed.”
In addition to the levy, the Institute for Apprenticeships was launched on 3 April. The Institute is independent from government and has been launched to ensure that all Apprenticeships are top quality and deliver the skills that employers need.