The Raven's Blog

05.03.18

Apprenticeship levy – five myths busted

On the first day of National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (NAW 2018), the director of the National Apprenticeship Service, Sue Husband, challenges some of the key myths around the apprenticeship levy.

NAW 2018 takes place from 5 to 9 March. It will be a week-long celebration of apprenticeships in England designed to showcase how apprenticeships work for individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy.

During this week, employers and apprentices from across England will come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships while encouraging even more people to choose an apprenticeship as the pathway to a great career. But for this to happen, there are some key myths that need to be dispelled around the levy.

  • Myth #1: All businesses must pay the apprenticeship levy

Only employers that pay more than £3m in wages are liable to pay the apprenticeship levy. Levy-paying employers contribute 0.5% of their paybill into a fund each month, which can be reinvested in apprenticeship training for their business. And for every £1 contributed, the government adds 10p. If you’re an employer with an annual pay bill under £3m then you don’t pay the levy – but the government will still fund 90% towards the cost of your apprenticeship training.

  • Myth #2: Levy payers must hire more apprentices

All employers with a pay bill over £3m pay the levy regardless of whether they employ an apprentice. You don’t have to reinvest your levy payments, but if you don’t then your business may be losing out. Some employers wrongly see the levy as a payroll tax and, consequently, are forgoing access to a pot of money and new talent. Apprentices enable employers to grow their own talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified staff in a cost-effective way in line with their workforce needs. It’s in every employer’s interests to use their levy payments to invest in the quantity and quality of apprenticeships that their business offers, to help them acquire new skills and stay future-fit.

  • Myth #3: The levy gives employers less control

The levy makes it easier for employers to choose apprenticeship training that best suits their needs. Funding follows employer choice, moving away from the previous provider-led model and meaning providers must be much more responsive to what employers need. Employers’ levy contributions are paid into an apprenticeship service account which allows them to choose and pay for apprenticeship training more easily. If an employer is in a group of companies paying the levy together, the group can collect their funds into a single account. Soon, the government will also allow levy-paying employers to transfer funds to other employers, through the apprenticeship service.

  • Myth #4: Levy funds can’t be used to train existing staff

Anyone can start an apprenticeship at any point in their life, whatever their age, background or career level. With levy funds, employers can train and upskill their existing workforce as well as hiring new recruits. Businesses can establish new apprenticeships and increase the number of apprentices they recruit while also upskilling their existing workforce with higher or degree-level apprenticeships. You can use the levy funds to train existing employees who hold prior qualifications so long as the apprenticeship they are taking is relevant to their role and the most appropriate way of progressing or developing their career.

  • Myth #5: The levy doesn’t have any benefits

Through the levy, £2.5bn will be invested by 2019-20 to boost the quantity and quality of apprenticeships, benefiting people, businesses, communities and our economy. There have been over 1.2 million apprenticeship starts since May 2015 and the government remains committed to reaching three million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020. With more money than ever, the government will be helping people of all ages and from all backgrounds access better-quality apprenticeships and enabling growth of opportunities. Through the levy, the government is also investing £60m in supporting the training of apprentices from the poorest areas in the country and providing support for apprentices with learning or other disabilities, to ensure social mobility for all.

To find out more about the levy and information on taking on an apprentice, visit hireanapprentice.campaign.gov.uk.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and dis... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the a... more >
‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

20/07/2018‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

An index designed to measure councils’ financial resilience in order to avoid another Northamptonshire-style fiasco would actually risk ove... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >

the raven's daily blog

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are one step closer to strengthening the integrity of our electoral system through requiring electors to confirm their identity before they vote, building on the government’s commitment to safeguard ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are o... more >
Accountability in government: what next?

02/07/2018Accountability in government: what next?

Benoit Guerin, senior researcher at the Institute for Government (IfG), explains why accountability in government needs improving and sets out wh... more >
Potholes: The scourge of the roads

02/07/2018Potholes: The scourge of the roads

Potholes are a scourge on our roads and can have much farther-reaching consequences than one might think. Re-routing just a small amount of exist... more >
Can data save the future of children?

02/07/2018Can data save the future of children?

Ingrid Koehler, service innovation lead at the LGiU, takes a look at the untapped potential for a digital, data-led transformation of children&rs... more >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

View all News