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  • Suleman Iqbal

    The Education People apprenticeship advice serviceThe Education People can provide expert advice on how you will be affected by the Levy, how to hire an apprentice and the training options available to you.
    This service can be accessed by contacting our Apprenticeship advice line on 03000 414 005 or by email at 

New apprenticeship opportunities

From the 6 April 2017, the government is expanding the apprenticeship programme significantly. For the first time, employers will be able to:

  • Hire apprentices of all ages. 
  • Commission the necessary training for their qualifications. 
  • Upskill existing staff - use money from the fund to offer higher or degree-level apprenticeships to those already in your employ. 
  • Partner with specialist training providers to create a structured Apprenticeship and School Leaver programme tailored to your individual needs. 
  • Take advantage of up to 800 new apprenticeship standards (describing the skills, knowledge and behaviours an individual needs for a specific occupation).

What is the Apprenticeship Levy and who will pay it?

The Apprenticeship Levy is a major change to apprenticeship funding that may affect your business. From 6 April 2017, large employers with an annual payroll of over £3million will be required to invest 0.5% of their payroll into a central fund. This is called the Apprenticeship Levy. From 1 May 2017 these large employers can start to draw down on these funds to pay for apprenticeship training over a period of two years.

How does the Levy affect businesses who don’t pay the levy?

Smaller firms, with payrolls under £3million, will not be required to pay the apprenticeship levy. But they also stand to benefit from the changes to apprenticeship funding. 

The government will contribute 90% of the training costs for all non-levy paying companies. 

You can choose the training you’d like your apprentices to receive, an approved training provider and an assessment organisation. 

For the UK’s smallest firms – specifically those with fewer than 50 employees on their payroll – the government has agreed to pay 100% of the training costs of apprentices between the ages of 16-18 years old, or those aged 19 – 24 who have previously been in care or have a Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan. 

How will the Levy benefit my company?

  • Taking on an apprentice enables your company to address any skills shortages your business may have by training new or existing staff to fill them.
  • Apprentices are part of the workforce, and 89% of employers say they make business more productive, bringing a fresh and unique perspective to the job.
  • Businesses can now access the higher-level technical skills vital to business performance and growth.
  • Since April 2016, companies no longer have to pay national insurance for apprentices under the age of 25.
  • 75% of employers have found that hiring an apprentice reduces recruitment costs. 

How do I find out more? 

Kent County Council, can provide expert advice about all the changes to apprenticeships. Employers of all sectors and sizes can contact our apprentice advice service on 03000 414 005 or by email at . Alternatively you can find out more on our employers page or get started and register.