Apprenticeship changes for SMEs from January 2020

If you’re an SME looking to boost your business, you’ll soon have much more control over how you spend your training budget.

As an SME, you don't pay the apprenticeship levy. From January 2020 the apprenticeship service is being made available to SMEs, so you’ll be able to have greater control over who you choose for your apprenticeship training. For the first time, as a non-levy employer, you'll be able to manage your training through a digital portal – the Apprenticeship Service.

Additional funding for apprenticeship standards.

As non-levy payers are transitioned to the Apprenticeship Service, the Government has announced additional funding will be made available for up to 15,000 new nationwide starts between January and March 2020. The new changes make it more accessible than ever to recruit apprentices or upskill existing employees. However, the additional budget can only be used to fund the new, employer-designed apprenticeship standards (not existing apprenticeship frameworks).

How to set up an Apprenticeship Service account

With an Apprenticeship Service account, you'll be able to get funding to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment costs. You can also manage training providers, search for apprenticeships that match your business needs and save them for later browsing.

Before you set up your account you’ll need;

  • Your organisation’s Government Gateway user ID and password or HMRC Accounts Office Payroll number.
  • You will need to register for HMRC’s online services if you don’t already have Government Gateway credentials.
  • You’ll need the PM Training UKPRN number (10005250) to set up Project Management (Staffordshire) Limited as your training provider.
  • You can register for an account on

As a non-levy employer, the cost of training and assessing apprentices is shared with the Government. This is called ‘co-investment’. Therefore, you pay 5% of the training costs with the remaining 95% paid for by the Government. 

Don't forget, if you have 50 or less employees and recruit a 16-18 year old apprentice, this will still be fully funded by the Government. 

If you’re an SME looking to access apprenticeship training for your business, we can talk you through the process.

Contact a member of our Partnerships team on 01782 279121 or click to book a call back today.