The Apprenticeship Levy: don’t risk losing yours

The Apprenticeship Levy

Almost 2 years have passed since the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in May 2017, and with a time limit of 24 months in which to start spending it, time is running out !

If you haven’t spent any of your Apprenticeship Levy yet, don’t panic, it’s not too late.  April is the new financial year, so now is the ideal time to start planning your Levy spend to make best use of your funds.

Read on to find out how you can implement a successful Apprenticeship training programme for your workforce and make the most of your Levy funds before they expire.

5 Steps to making the most of your Levy spend

  • 1.    Review your business needs

Before you begin recruiting apprentices or upskilling existing employees through an Apprenticeship, take some time to review your business needs as well as your training and recruitment requirements. Identify which areas of your organisation could benefit from a skills boost and consider the ways Apprenticeship training could help you to fill these gaps.

  • 2.    Partner with a Training Provider

Working with an experienced training provider can help you to make the most of your Apprenticeship Levy funds by gaining on-going professional advice and support. Regardless of your industry, a training provider can assist you by working through common processes – including setting up and managing your digital Apprenticeship account – and ensuring you gain the most value from the funds allocated to you. At NLTG we have 50 years’ experience of delivering Apprenticeship training and our dedicated ‘Apprenticeship Service Engagement Team’ (ASET) is available to provide Levy support and advice.

  • 3.    Manage your digital account effectively

Bear in mind that payments only start from the month that an Apprentice begins their training programme, so for those of you who have a backlog of funds building up in your digital account, you are likely to gain a false impression of what you can afford via your Levy funds. Apprenticeship training costs will always be debited monthly, so paying for Apprenticeship training in one go, isn’t an option; payments will always be taken monthly, and you cannot make any ‘back payments’.

  1. 4.    Consider the different ways to use your Levy

Remember that Apprenticeships apply to existing employees – including graduates – as well as new employees. Levy payments can only be used to cover Apprenticeship training, and not staff salaries, so utilising the Levy to upskill your existing staff members is a great way to spend your Levy funds.

  • 5.    Share Levy funds with other employers

Levy-paying employers are able to transfer up to 25% of their Levy funds to other employers. This is ideal for those looking to collaborate more closely with other companies, especially those in their supply chain, and could work wonders for those businesses unsure of how they wish to spend their Levy.

  • Don’t worry if your Levy funds run out

If you run out of funds in your Levy pot, what happens next? It’s called co-investment and means you are able to access additional funding in the same way as non-Levy payers. Co-investment means the government will pay 95% of Apprenticeship training costs to your training provider, while you’ll only pay the remaining 5%. Your Apprenticeship service account will let you know when your Levy funds are due to expire.

Unused Levy contributions – what happens to them?

Any Levy funds you don’t use will expire 24 months after they enter your Apprenticeship account. The account operates on a first-in, first-out basis, so whenever a payment for training is taken from your account, the service always uses the funds that entered your account first.

Any money not spent within 24 months will be removed from your account and put into the general Apprenticeship fund. Missing out on effectively using your Levy funds could mean competitors take advantage of your unused funds, as essentially, you’ll be paying for someone else’s training costs.

If you haven’t spent your funds yet, it’s not too late…

North Lancs Training Group can help you make the most of your Apprenticeship Levy. If you haven’t spent yours yet, don’t panic. We’re here to work with you, offer advice and help you to identify your skills and training needs, so you are comfortable with how you spend your Levy funds.

For more information, simply contact our Employer Engagement Team today on 01254 300779, or email: