DfE aims to boost apprenticeship numbers with levy change

Levy-paying employers will soon be able to transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship service funds to any number of businesses, expanding and enhancing the offerings available for students

According to the Department for Education, large employers are to be able to transfer up to 10% of apprenticeship levy funds to multiple businesses. This will allow them to boost the number of high-quality and much-needed apprenticeships across the UK.

As previously reported, apprenticeships have dropped 28% since the levy was introduced last year. Anne Milton, apprenticeships and skills minister, has since announced this new move in improving business’s abilities to invest in training and grow their companies.

Currently, levy-paying employers can transfer up to 10% of their service funds to one other employer, but as per the request of the businesses involved, Milton has decided to allow them to transfer that 10% to as many other employers as they wish. This will begin in July.

The hope is that this will lead to more, better quality apprenticeships being created in future.

Milton said of the move:

“It’s fantastic to see so many businesses taking advantage of the opportunity that the apprentice levy provides. As well as kick starting their apprenticeship programmes, business is now recognising the benefits an apprentice brings to the work place with enthusiasm and new ideas.

“We want to keep improving apprenticeships for everyone and I am delighted that we are now extending the flexibility of the apprenticeship levy. If we look at what the Berkeley Group and Norfolk County Council are doing, this is business and the public sector using the apprenticeship programme to change people’s lives.”

Norfolk County Council was the first organisation to make a transfer of apprenticeship service funds. A spokesperson for the council said:

“From the moment the levy was first announced, Norfolk County Council’s leadership team wanted to ensure that some of our levy could be used to support Norfolk people who have all the necessary skills and abilities to complete an apprenticeship successfully but have barriers that sometimes prevent them from achieving successfully.

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“Working with TrAC, we have developed a pilot designed to help 30 young people to get and achieve an apprenticeship and Norfolk County Council is transferring levy to TrAC to support these apprentices.

“All of these apprentices are referred by the council and will be employed by TrAC who will place them with other host employers throughout their programme. Both the apprentice and the host employer receive additional bespoke support throughout the programme.”

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