get in go far v1

SEMLEP's Apprenticeships Portal - all you need to know   You are here: Home » Apprenticeships

SEMLEP is keen to support Government plans to increase the number of apprenticeship starts, helping businesses transform their workforces and creating a wave of fresh opportunities for a new generation of skilled staff who want to earn while they learn.

Our ambitious plans will support our providers and employers to contribute a significant number of new apprenticeship starts across the South East Midlands, helping the Government to achieve its ambition of three million new apprentices by 2020.

This portal is designed to help SEMLEP businesses and stakeholders to prepare for the new Digital Apprenticeship Service and Apprenticeship Levy being introduced in 2017.  We will continue update this new portal as details and further information is announced. 

Apprenticeship Levy

Does the levy apply to my business?

  • The levy will apply to all UK employers in all sectors with an annual pay bill of more than £3m.
  • If you are unsure whether the levy applies, or if you would like to estimate how much levy will be required to pay, use the estimate my apprenticeship funding tool - https://estimate-my-apprenticeship-funding.sfa.bis.gov.uk/
  • There is currently no government plan to extend the levy to those with less than a £3m pay bill.

Information for levy payers

  • Starts on 6th April 2017, at a rate of 0.5% of pay bill, through PAYE.
  • A £15,000 allowance – like a tax allowance, not cash – will be deducted from the amount due.
  • The amount due will be paid monthly via HMRC and calculated based on an estimated annual pay bill.  Detailed HMRC guidance regarding how it will be calculated will follow mid-December.
  • In addition to a levy payment, government has proposed a target for public sector employers in England of 2.3% apprenticeship starts each year based on their headcount of employees.  
  • Levy funds will be available to spend on apprenticeship training through an online Digital Apprenticeship Service.  

Digital Apprenticeship Service

 

  • From January 2017, levy employers will create an account on a new Digital Apprenticeship Service.
  • First funds available to spend will appear in their account in late May 2017. In addition to the levy amount, Government will also provide a 10% top up to each account.
  • Levy funds can only be spent on training employees where their main place of employer is ‘England’ (there is continuing dialogue regarding how the devolved nations will spend their levy)
  • Digital account funds cannot be used for wages or managerial costs. 
  • Funds can be used to train existing employees – normally to undertake an apprenticeship at a higher level or at the same or lower level if to acquire substantive new skills.
  • It should be noted that unused funds will expire after 24 months.
  • During 2018, the government aims to offer a facility to transfer up to 10% of levy funds to another employer with a digital account or to an Apprenticeship Training Agency – there will be no transferable fund options during the first year.

Calculating the cost of apprenticeships from May 2017

 

  • Government is also reforming the apprenticeship funding rates and rules.  For an apprenticeship that starts before 1st May 2017, it will be funded through the existing system.  Starts after the 1st May will fall under a new funding system. 
  • Under the new system, each apprenticeship will be placed in a funding band.  Employers will be able to negotiate the best price with training providers. 
  • There will be an upper cap but no lower limit. 
  • Extra support will be given for 16-18 year olds, individuals who are disadvantaged, STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Maths and English training. 
  • For employers with less than 50 employees, 100% of the training costs will be covered for 16-18 apprentices (or 19-24 year olds formerly in care or with an education, health and care plan).

Registration for levy payers

The government’s reforms to apprenticeships is aimed to put employers in control of their own workforce development. The apprenticeship service will help employers invest in the skills and training their organisation needs to succeed.

Levy-paying employers can register on the apprenticeship service to:

  • create an account
  • add organisations (if their organisation is connected)
  • link their PAYE schemes
  • invite members of their team to use the service

It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes for employers to set up an account, but there are some things you can do in advance to speed it up. The register to manage your apprenticeship funds page explains the process.

Employers with any questions about their account, can seek guidance at:

A step-by-step guide to the apprenticeship service for levy-paying organisations can be found here.

The apprenticeship levy

In spring 2017, the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers. The apprenticeship levy begins on 6 April 2017.

The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill of over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships.

Employers won’t be able to pay for apprenticeships until they have started paying the levy (from May onwards).

Read more at Apprenticeship funding: how it will work.

The apprenticeship service

Through the apprenticeship service, all levy-paying employers can:

All levy-paying and non-levy paying employers can:

  • find - ‘find apprenticeship training’ gives employers easy-to-digest information on the choices available to them - employers can search for and find an appropriate standard or framework, a quality-assured training provider, and compare one provider with another
  • recruit - through the recruit an apprentice service, training providers can post vacancies for apprenticeships and traineeships on behalf of employers - this will be opened to employers at a later date

Registration for levy payers

The Department for Education and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are encouraging large employers to sign up and register for the apprenticeship service, in readiness for the launch of the apprenticeship levy on 6 April 2017.

The apprenticeship service is an online digital system (similar to online banking) that has been set up to support the apprenticeship levy.

The levy will require employers, with a wage bill of over £3 million a year, to pay 0.5% of their wage bill into the apprenticeship service, to encourage them to invest into apprentices.

The online service then allows those employers to financially manage their apprenticeship programme and help them to estimate their financial spend and recruit apprentices through their training providers. It will help employers:

  • focus on their business priorities
  • address skills shortages head on
  • invest in the skills and training to help their organisations succeed

To register, levy-paying employers should have:

  • their Government Gateway login details for PAYE schemes they want to include
  • the details for each organisation that will be making an agreement with a training provider for apprenticeship training, including Companies House or charity number

The register to manage your apprenticeship funds page provides more guidance.

Information for non-levy payers

  • There is currently no government plan to extend the levy to those with less than a £3m pay bill
  • Non-levy paying small and medium businesses will be asked to only fund 10% of the cost of training for an apprentice, the Government funding the balance of 90%
  • Small businesses with 49 or fewer staff that train an apprentice aged 16-18 will pay nothing towards the cost of training (the Government funding 100%). This also applies if the apprentice is aged 19-24 and formerly in care or if they have an Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP).
  • In addition, an extra £1,000 grant will be paid to any SME who takes on a 16-18-year-old, or a 19-24-year-old who has previously been in care
  • There is provision for additional support for SMEs who take on those with additional learning needs
  • Non-levy payers will continue to make payments for their apprenticeship training direct to training providers.  However, it is planned that, by 2020, all employers (levy and non-levy payers) will use the Digital Apprenticeship Service to choose and pay for all their apprenticeship training.

Employing an apprentice

Choosing your training provider

To find the most suitable training provider for your business, click here

Training providers have recently completed an application process to join a new Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, aligning with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.  It is planned that the Register will reopen three times per year for new providers to join.

Choosing the right apprenticeship programme

  • Apprenticeships were previously referred to as ‘Frameworks’.  Since the Richards Review in 2013, Government has put employers in the driving seat of designing new apprenticeships and they are now based on short, easy to understand ‘Standards’. 
  • The list of apprenticeship Standards is available on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standards-list-of-occupations-available
  • The list shows the level of apprenticeship (from Intermediate Level 2 up to Higher, Degree and Post Graduate at Level 7), the stage of development and whether it’s ready for delivery.
  • Employers are invited to review the list of Standards that are available and start talking to training providers.  If there is an occupation that is missing, employers are invited to group together and send in a proposal to develop a new Standard.  

Apprenticeship support for small and medium businesses

Apprenticeships offer an opportunity not just to develop people but to grow a business.

In the past Apprenticeships were related to learning a trade. Modern Apprenticeships can be used to develop and train people in almost all business types and sectors, at all levels from GCSE to masters, for all ages from 16, for both new recruits and existing employees.

Apprenticeships cover a range of occupations from Account executive to Zookeeper with apprentices working towards nationally recognised vocational qualifications and technical certificates whilst providing you with the opportunity to coach an individual to contribute to their development and the success of your business.

Recent evidence shows that Apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by on average of £214 per week, 87% of employers were satisfied with their apprenticeship programme, with 75% reporting improved quality of their product or service through having an apprentice.

The Government have simplified the funding rules from April 2017 with larger companies with an annual £3 million pay bill contributing to apprenticeship training costs via a levy. The result of this is that there are some new incentives for small and medium employers:

  • Non-levy paying small and medium businesses will be asked to only fund 10% of the cost of training for an apprentice, the Government funding the balance of 90%
  • Small businesses with 49 or fewer staff that train an apprentice aged 16-18 will pay nothing towards the cost of training (the Government funding 100%). This also applies if the apprentice is aged 19-24 and formerly in care or if they have an Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP).
  • In addition, an extra £1,000 grant will be paid to any SME who takes on a 16-18-year-old, or a 19-24-year-old who has previously been in care
  • There is provision for additional support for SMEs who take on those with additional learning needs

To assist small and medium businesses to develop their workforce through Apprenticeships, our Velocity Growth Hub with support from ESF funding, have a new resource to guide you through the process.

The support includes:

  • Helping with finding new recruits with free advertising for your Apprenticeship vacancies
  • Getting your current staff ready to start an Apprenticeship
  • Offering pathways to higher and degree-level Apprenticeships
  • An opportunity to raise your business profile through our Apprenticeship Ambassador scheme

Visit our website at www.velocitybusinesssupport.com/apprenticeship or call on 01480 409309

Other useful websites:

www.getingofar.gov.uk/employers

www.gov.uk/take-on-an-apprentice

 

Twitter:

@GetInGoFar

@SEMLEP

How SEMLEP can help you

Speak to other employers

Contact SEMLEP who will be able to direct you to companies who have experience of employing apprentices in their own business for advice and guidance as well as for peer-to-peer support. 

 
Alternatively, all SMEs can register with www.apprenticemakers.org.uk and go to the South East Midlands group page to post threads, ask questions or network and share.
 

Speak to current apprentices

To find out more about the impact an apprenticeship can have there's no better person to speak to than the apprentice themselves. We have created a pool of current and graduate apprentices, who have volunteered their time to share their experience with you. We can help put you in touch to talk directly to them, helping you to discover what works best in an apprenticeship.

Email skills@semlep.com to find out more.

What to do next

What do I do next?
 
1) If you are a small business based in the South East Midlands and are looking to take on an apprentice, get in touch with our new Brokerage Service via Velocity Growth Hub by emailing enquiries@velocitybusinesssupport.com
 
2) Alternatively, the National Apprenticeship Service provides a dedicated service to employers, offering free expert advice and support to those looking to recruit apprentices or take on a trainee for the first time, or expand their existing programmes. If you’re interested in taking on an apprentice or offering a traineeship call the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or click here for more details

Resources

Apprenticeship Vision 2020

Read the English Apprenticeships Vision, published by BIS HERE. This document includes a foreword from Sajid Javid MP and Nicky Morgan MP, outlining the Government's current vision for apprenticeships, helping to create three million apprenticeship starts by 2020.

Apprenticeships: A New World

Please click here to view the Apprenticeships: A New World presentation from the event which took place on Thursday 1st December 2016 at the Open University.