The government is officially launching its apprenticeship levy today (6 April 2017) as part of the biggest shake-up of skills for a generation.
The levy will require all employers in the UK with an annual wage bill of over £3 million to pay 0.5% of it towards funding apprenticeships.
The money will be invested in quality training for apprentices and double the annual investment in apprenticeships in England to £2.5 billion by 2019 to 2020, compared with 2010 to 2011 levels.
Employers in England can set up an online account to manage their funds and invest in training for apprentices working for them - currently around 100 accounts are being set up every day. The government will then provide a further 10% top up to levy contributions each month into employers’ accounts.
The levy will encourage employers to invest in high-quality apprenticeships ensuring even more people have a chance to reach their full potential.
Generous support will also be provided for smaller employers with an annual pay bill below £3 million and therefore not required to pay the levy. The government will pay 90% of the costs of training and assessing their apprentices.
In addition, companies with fewer than 50 employees that take on apprentices aged between 16 and 18 will have 100% of their training costs paid for.
This is on top of a range of support for apprentices who have additional needs, including around £60 million of funds towards training those from the poorest parts of England.
To help employers see how the levy and funding system will work for them, the government has created an online calculator: estimate my apprenticeship funding . The simple-to-use tool will enable employers to understand how much levy they will pay and how they could use their funds to pay for training in future.