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

Local government finance settlement: short-term needs met with 2.4% boost

13/12/2018Local government finance settlement: short-term needs met with 2.4% boost

The annual local government finance settlement shows that the government has recognised short-term pressures facing local government — but ... more >
Salisbury City Council leader steps down due to job’s impact on personal life

13/12/2018Salisbury City Council leader steps down due to job’s impact on personal life

The leader of Salisbury City Council is to step down from the role citing the job’s impact on his personal life behind the decision. C... more >
Oxford council owes balanced budget to its wholly-owned public services company

13/12/2018Oxford council owes balanced budget to its wholly-owned public services company

Oxford City Council has owed its fully balanced four-year budget proposal – which is better than many other local authorities up and down t... 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

Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

12/12/2018Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

Ahead of the upcoming networking extravaganza EvoNorth, we caught up with Gary Wallis-Clarke, a member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills group, executive headteacher at West Jesmond Primary school, and its national leader of education. In our interview, Gary reveals what the Northern Powerhouse means to him and explains... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

The digital buying community is live

12/11/2018The digital buying community is live

Many of the requirements from buyers posted on the Digital Marketplace were either non-compliant or poorly worded, which resulted in challenges f... more >
A force to be reckoned with

12/11/2018A force to be reckoned with

The South Bank plan, which refers to a number of investments and proposed activities across a massive plot of land south of the River Aire, is on... more >
Less for less: the risk of 'core offers'

12/11/2018Less for less: the risk of 'core offers'

As councils across England struggle with their finances in the face of massive cuts from central government, Simon Edwards, director of the Count... more >
A two-speed England

05/11/2018A two-speed England

Central government needs to change its approach to local transport planning and investment, including by consolidating funding and maximising dev... more >

interviews

New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Cllr Cutts on dealing with children’s services pressures: ‘I can’t magic money out of the air’

26/09/2018Cllr Cutts on dealing with children’s services pressures: ‘I can’t magic money out of the air’

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has outlined her priorities for dealing with soaring demand of children’s services and social ... more >
Nottinghamshire considers unitary shake-up proposals in a bid to balance books

05/09/2018Nottinghamshire considers unitary shake-up proposals in a bid to balance books

Nottinghamshire County Council is considering proposals to scrap its current two-tier structure for a new unitary system in order to save on... more >

public sector focus

View all News