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Thousands to be lost by levy losers
Employers with a wage bill in excess of £3m may be at risk of losing thousands, warns an Apprenticeship expert, with the first 24 month expiry period of Apprenticeship Levy funds fast approaching in April 2019.
The 0.5% Apprenticeship Levy was introduced on 6 April 2017 and is payable by employers with an annual wage bill over £3m. The money is then made available to the employers via an Apprenticeship Service Account, where they can use the funds, plus a 10% government top-up, to help with Apprentice training and assessment costs.
All funds entering an employer’s Apprenticeship Service Account carry a 24 month expiry period, meaning any levy paying employer who hasn’t used their funds to invest in Apprenticeship training and assessment is set to start losing money from April 2019.
Adele Bull, Programme team leader at Truro and Penwith College Business and Apprenticeship expert commented; “There are a number of options available to employers who have not made use of their Levy funds. Recruiting an Apprentice may not be an option for every employer, but advice should still be sought as it is possible to use the funds to train current members of staff via Apprenticeship training programmes. This approach has benefitted many of our employers allowing them to upskill team members to expand their role, take on additional responsibilities and prepare them for the next stage of their career. Anyone over the age of 16 can start an Apprenticeship, even those who are degree educated providing it helps them develop a new skillset.”
Truro and Penwith College Business has a team of Business Development Advisors who specialise in Apprenticeships and the Levy on hand to offer advice and support to employers interested in building training programmes for their teams. The team works in partnership with employers across Cornwall such as; St Austell Brewery, Eden Project, Cornwall Council, The Rick Stein Group, Teagle and Goonhilly Earth Station to name a few.
Adele continued: “We can support businesses to access and use their Apprenticeship Service Account, which allows them to receive and spend their Levy funds. If an employer really can’t make use of the funds available to them it’s even possible for them to transfer them to another local employer’s Apprenticeship programme, ensuring that local people benefit from their generous donation”.
Apprenticeship Reforms in 2017 also saw the introduction of new initiatives to support non-Levy paying employers with wage bills under £3m. These employers now only need to pay 10% of training and assessment costs, with the government covering the remaining 90% (within a maximum funding band) under a ‘co-investment’ scheme.
Truro and Penwith College Business is hosting an ‘Apprenticeships: Working for Business’ conference for employers on 4 March, information can be found here.
The team is always on hand to offer help and advice to ensure employers get their most out of their professional development and Apprenticeship training schemes and can be contacted on 01872 242711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.