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Higher and degree apprenticeship funding

There are many things to consider regards to apprenticeship funding, find out about the apprenticeships levy, how it works and support available.

How are apprenticeships funded?

The Apprenticeships Levy

All UK employers with a salary bill of more than £3 million are required to pay a levy to fund apprenticeships. This applies to all employers, across all sectors.

If your organisation falls into this category, the levy is 0.5% of your salary bill and it is collected each month by HMRC. Once collected, these funds are available for your to spend on apprenticeships via a digital account.

In addition, employers in England who pay the levy are able to get more back than they pay in because the government adds a 10% ‘top up’ to their levy contribution. This payment is made each month into the employer’s digital account.

Levy payments and top up payments made into digital accounts expire after 24 months – therefore you need to ‘use it or lose it’.

Levy money can not only be spent on apprentices employed by the levy paying business, there are also opportunities for firms to share their levy – for example, to supply chain partners or other parties within a group of companies.

What can you use your levy funds for?

Funds can be used for apprenticeship training and assessment with an approved provider.

However, levy funds cannot be used for:

Importantly you can use your apprenticeship levy funds to offer training to your exiting staff as well as new entrants to your business. This means that there are lots of options available. Moreover, apprenticeships are so flexible that there are course options to match almost every job role you can imagine – plus there is the opportunity for employers to develop their own apprenticeship programmes that are directly relevant to your business. Contact us to find out more.

Funding for non-levied businesses

It’s not just be businesses paying the levy that are able to benefit from apprenticeships, there is funding available for businesses with a salary bill of less than £3 million (this comes from the unspent levy payments of larger firms).

These employers are required to co-invest 10% towards the cost of their apprenticeship training while the government contributes the remaining 90%.

What if I want to invest more than my levy payment?

There are no restrictions on the amount that your business can invest in apprenticeships. If you are paying the levy and wish to spend more on apprenticeships than the amount in your digital account, you will need to fund the extra amount through a co-investment 10% and the government will contribute the remaining 90% of the costs.

Extra support

There is extra government support for apprentices who are under 25 years of age; those who have Local Authority Education and Healthcare Plans and/or those who need to gain Level 2 Maths and English.

Working with University of Gloucestershire

In addition to working with you to provide apprenticeships that will deliver the most benefit to your business, we are here to help you make sense of the funding arrangements for apprenticeships and realise the opportunities for your business.

National Apprenticeship Service digital account

Once you have decided to take on an apprentice or upskill an existing employee via an apprenticeship programme, you will need to setup a digital account record for each cohort of apprentices. This will enable you to access the government funding that will pay for the apprenticeship, as well as any incentive payments you may be eligible for.

If you are a levied organisation, your apprenticeship funding will be sent directly to this account. This account provides the mechanism through which you can pay us (or any other provider) for the apprenticeship training we deliver for you.

If you are identified as a non-levy company, then you set up the account in the same way, but will have to reserve funds for each cohort of apprentices, up to a maximum of 10 in any one year. You must reserve funding during or up to three months prior to the start month.

Watch the video below to find out how you can set up a digital account.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or want to speak to a member of the team you can email, call us or fill in the form below.