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Announced in this year’s Spring Statement, and with effect from 1 April 2019, the package of reforms to the apprenticeship levy aim to strengthen the role of employers. So, what does this mean for you?

The key facts are:

  • the levy is paid by UK employers with payroll costs above £3m, then boosted by additional Government investment;
  • the levy co-investment rate has been cut from 10% to 5%; and
  • the 5% contribution will also apply if the employer’s levy pot is empty.

If you have payroll costs above £3m then you can access your funds through the online apprenticeship service. You can get face to face and telephone support to help you invest your funds.

This support might be needed: in 2017-18 apprenticeship levy-paying employers only accessed £191m of an available £2.2bn in levy funds and government top-ups, despite these funds expiring after two years.

However, these unspent funds can be used elsewhere. If you can have less than £3m in payroll costs, you can access the funds by paying just 5% of the cost of your apprenticeship training and the Government pays the rest.

Levy paying employers can now also transfer up to 25% of their funds to other employers (previously this was just 10%) if you would prefer to support other businesses in your supply chain.

Consistency and more choices for apprentices has also been invested in by the Government: apprenticeship standards will be updated or new ones introduced by September 2020.