If your business has a wage bill over £3 million then you’ll have been paying the apprenticeship levy since April 2017. However, there is a growing number of businesses that are not utilising their levy budget. If not used, unspent funds in employer’s levy accounts are lost – meaning employers are losing the opportunity to upskill staff and recruit apprentices – is it an opportunity that you can afford to lose?
The uptake of the apprenticeship levy has been slow, and as a result the number of apprenticeship starts. With a 3m starts target set by the Government back in 2015, in April 2019, the national picture was over 548,000 starts below target according to FE Week.
New initiatives in April have helped to make the recruitment and use of apprenticeship training easier. The co-investment percentage was reduced from 10% to 5% making it more cost effective to train and develop using apprenticeships.
The amount of levy funding that can be transferred to supply chains from levy-payers was also changed, increasing from 10% to 25% helping SMEs within large supply chains to benefit from unspent levy budgets in larger companies.
Levy-payers who don't spend or transfer their funds within 24 months will have the expired funds removed from their accounts. There are great examples of companies utilising their levy budgets to maximise training and development. For example, Stoke-based Solidor, have recruited over 20 apprentices in the past five years.
Apprenticeships are great for business. They increase productivity, bring fresh ideas and help develop new skills, motivate and retain staff.
If you are thinking about recruiting an apprentice or upskilling your current workforce, book an apprenticeship levy consultation with a member of our team.