The apprenticeship levy is finally here.
Employers with a payroll of over £3m will pay 0.5% of that payroll out in levy, and will then get it back (plus 10%) to spend on apprenticeships training, certification and – where included within a framework or standard – qualifications. They will be able to spend their apprenticeship vouchers with any training provider that’s on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.
The government wants 3 million apprenticeships during the lifetime of this Parliament (2015-20), and the levy is one tool being used to encourage employers who don’t take on many (if any) apprentices at the moment to increase their numbers. As we drive towards 3 million starts we must take care not to dilute the quality of apprenticeships. Although they’re not required, many of the newly developed apprenticeship standards include recognised qualifications, which employers have pushed for as they give apprentices real evidence of their transferable skills and competences.