Is your business ready for the Apprenticeship levy and reforms?
In April 2017 the way the Government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for ALL employers. A key aim of the levy is to encourage businesses to take on apprentices or alternatively, up-skill their existing staff through an apprenticeship.
What is the Apprenticeship Levy?
The apprenticeship levy is part of the Government’s plan to increase apprenticeships and aims to fund 3 million new apprenticeships in England by 2020. The Government’s aim is that the new levy should help to improve both the quantity and the quality of apprenticeships and will come in to effect on 6 April 2017.
Levy paying businesses will be employers with a pay bill of over £3m from April 2017, less than 2% of employers in the UK. It will equate to 0.5% of the pay bill, paid through PAYE. It applies to all qualifying UK employers in all sectors. Employers in England who pay the levy will be able to get out more than they pay into the levy through a 10% top-up to their digital accounts.
Non-levy paying businesses (around 98% of all businesses) will only have to contribute 10% of the costs of an apprentice’s training, with the government paying the remaining 90% through ‘co-investment’.
Companies with fewer than 50 employees will not have to pay anything towards the cost of training 16 to18 year-old apprentices, young care leavers or young people with an Education, Health and Care plan.
What are the new Apprenticeship Standards?
The new standards have put employers in control of designing the apprenticeships. The standards will give the skills and knowledge required to be fully competent in an occupation. Many have now been announced and others are working towards publication. The new Institute for Apprenticeships will be led by employers to oversee standards and ensure quality and rigor.
What do employers need to do?
Employers will need to sign up to the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) from January 2017. They will need to verify their PAYE scheme and link this to the account.
They will also need to talk to Apprenticeship providers. The College of West Anglia (CWA) are here to help you identify, create and deliver flexible training solutions for your business. We cover the Eastern region and work with many businesses across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.
More information is available through the following links or complete the form to discuss further:
CWA Employer Conference 14/09/2016
Latest information on paying the Levy published by HM Revenue and Customs 12/12/2016