The apprenticeship levy

The government has introduced the apprenticeship levy, a compulsory tax on employers to help fund the development and delivery of apprenticeships, with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of those available.

Employers fall into one of two groups: levy payers and non-levy payers. Employers with a paybill of more than £3 million are required to pay the levy - whether they employ an apprentice or not. Your paybill includes all payments to employees that are subject to Class 1 secondary National Insurance Contributions, such as wages, bonuses and commission.

To help you forecast month by month what your contributions will need to be to support apprentices, whether you pay the levy or not, you can use the Funding Apprenticeships Systems (FAS) forecasting tool.

Levy-paying employers

Paying the levy

If your paybill is £3 million or more, you have to pay the levy.

The levy amount payable is calculated at 0.5% of your paybill. All employers get a £15,000 allowance to offset against the amount they have to pay.

Using your apprenticeship funding

The levy payments will go into the new online Apprenticeship Service, which will enable you to manage your apprenticeship funding and delivery through a virtual account. You'll be able to see how much is in your account and allocate payments to providers of government-approved apprenticeships.

You can work with training providers to agree on an apprenticeship programme suitable for your business. The levy can be used to pay for the End Point Assessments, but not the registration or certification of non-mandatory qualifications.

Non-levy-paying employers

If your paybill is under £3 million, you do not have to pay the levy.

You won’t need to use the online Apprenticeship Service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until at least 2018. You will contribute 10% towards the cost of the required apprenticeship and the government will pay the remaining 90%.

You can work with training providers to agree on an apprenticeship programme suitable for your business. The levy can be used to pay for the End Point Assessments, but not the registration or certification of non-mandatory qualifications.

The funding process

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