The Government’s new proposals concerning the Apprenticeship Levy have been welcomed by Greater Manchester’s newly established Apprenticeship Growth Service (AGS), part of the Manchester Growth Company.
The levy is being introduced as part of the Government’s commitment to create three million apprenticeships by 2020, and is expected to raise £3bn annually across the country. From April 2017, employers with a pay bill of over £3m a year will have to pay 0.5% of their payroll costs towards the levy.
The proposals announced today include plans to:
- Support all employers to offer high-quality apprenticeships: employers which are too small to contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy would have 90% of the cost of apprenticeship training paid - ensuring employers of all sizes can develop the next generation of skilled workers
- Provide extra funding for young apprentices and care leavers: the government will pay an additional £2,000 to help 16 to 18 year-olds, young care leavers and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan, make their first step into the world of work - with £1,000 going to employers and an additional £1,000 to training providers.
- Employers with fewer than 50 employees will not have to pay anything towards the cost of training a 16 to 18 year-old apprentice, young care leaver or young person with an EHC plan
- Offer more flexibility for employers to retrain individuals: employers will be able to use levy funds to retrain workers in new skills, even if they have prior qualifications - giving them the freedom to make the training decisions that are right for them so they can train any individual to start an apprenticeship, as long as it is significantly different from their previous qualifications
- Support employers taking on more apprentices: levy-paying employers - those with a pay bill of over £3 million that want to spend more on training than is in their digital account - will benefit from government support with 90% of their additional apprenticeship training costs being funded, so they can continue to recruit and retrain highly-skilled employees
Speaking on behalf of the Apprenticeship Growth Service, Jayne Worthington said: “We welcome the further detail announced in today’s proposals. It will enable the AGS to continue working with many employers to plan for the introduction of the levy to ensure that they get the most out of their investment.”
“Employers within scope of the levy will have to pay it whether or not they employ apprentices, so it makes real business sense for them to get the best return on that investment by developing an apprenticeship programme if they don’t already have one.”
The Apprenticeship Growth Service will provide employers with an impartial gateway to all the assistance they may need regarding the levy, and access to a tried and trusted panel of training providers and Further Education colleges across Greater Manchester.
You can get more detail by visiting the AGS website at www.apprenticeshipgrowth.co.uk and viewing the Levy Guide.
The Government’s proposals are out for consultation, and employers can give their views at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-proposals-for-funding-from-may-2017