With only 20 per cent of Levy-paying companies supporting the Apprenticeship Levy and 19 per cent not planning to use it to develop apprenticeships, it seems like businesses are missing a trick. 

In this guide, we’ll resolve your concerns around the Levy and get to the bottom of how the Levy can work for your business. 

New apprenticeship standards are being designed and approved for delivery each day - with examples such as bid and proposal co-ordinator, learning & development practitioner, marketing executive and professional internal auditor. There really is a vast and diverse array of apprenticeships being developed by employers. If there aren’t any standards that are fitting the bill for your organisation, trailblazers give you a great opportunity to develop your own standard and shape the skills development of your sector. 

SQA defines a trailblazer as: 

“A trailblazer is made up of a group of employers who work together to design new apprenticeship standards for occupations within their sectors. Employers are now at the forefront of the developmenttrailblazer for new role of apprenticeships and learning; creating people with workplace skills that are relevant to business and industry.” 

To find out more about developing a new apprenticeship standard with other employers, visit the Institute for Apprenticeships website here. 

We want to recruit an apprentice but where do we start? 

Apprenticeships can bring many benefits to organisations - from upskilling existing staff to bringing in fresh, new ideas. If you’re looking at recruiting an apprentice, there are a few things that you need to consider: 

  1. Contracts of employment - Both the apprentice and employer must sign an apprenticeship agreement at the start of any apprenticeship. An apprenticeship agreement must include a statement around the occupation or trade the apprentice is being trained for. 

  1. Holiday and sick pay - An apprentice has the right to the same holiday entitlement as other employees. Apprentices are entitled to at least 20 days paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays. 

  1. Payslips - Apprentices will need payslips like any other employee at a company. Payslips must contain: gross wages, fixed deductions, variable deductions and net amount of wages

  2. Apprenticeship costs - Funding for apprenticeships has changed since the Levy came into force – with apprenticeship standards and frameworks fitting into 15 funding bands. Take a look at our guide here to find out more about the funding structure. 

  1. Off-the-job training - Off-the-job training must be carried out within working hours and can’t be seen as ‘homework’ for an apprentice to do after work. This can be carried out with the apprentice either spending one day a week (or one week a month) at a training provider, or combining both on and off-the-job training with the provider and employer. 

  1. Eligibility - There's been a move towards moving away with much of the eligibility criteria around age and prior qualifications. Take a look at what’s changed here.

To find out more, we’ve put together a beginner's guide here on everything you need to know about taking on an apprentice. 

What type of accredited qualifications are available in apprenticeship standards? 

There are a lot of qualifications within apprenticeship standards that apprentices can do - offering an alternative use for your Levy funds rather than your commercial budget. 

Here are some of the accredited qualifications that we offer: accredited qualifications apprenticeship standards

  • Cii - for insurance apprenticeship standards such as insurance practitioner level 3 and insurance professional level 4.

  • CMI and ILM - for management apprenticeship standards such as chartered manager level 6 and team leader/supervisor level 3.

  • PMQ - for project management apprenticeship standards such as associate project manager level 4.

  • CIPD - for HR apprenticeship standards such as HR consultant/partner level 5 and HR support level 3.

  • AAT - for accountancy apprenticeship standards such as assistant account level 3. 

What if an apprentice leaves their apprenticeship part way through?

Both employers and apprentices usually want to see their training through to the end, however, unavoidably - some apprenticeships won’t be completed for one reason or another. 

If a learner drops out of training, then all funding for their apprenticeship would stop. For employers that pay the Apprenticeship Levy, their payments to providers would also cease and they’d be able to invest their remaining funds into a new apprentice.

For employers using co-investment to fund their apprenticeship training - any funds that they had ‘over-paid’ for an apprentice that dropped out early may be paid back, however, this is something that would need to be worked out on an individual basis with the training provider. 

Take a look at our full guide here to find out how best to ensure disruption to your business is kept to a minimum. 

Over to you

If you’ve got any questions about the Apprenticeship Levy, or simply want to find out more - don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter, LinkedIn  or email.

And if you’re looking for hands-on support for your Levy account, book an obligation-free chat with our Levy team or download our complimentary eBook guide on the Apprenticeship Levy now:

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