Apprenticeship Service

All employers need to create an apprenticeship service account to access funding to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment costs.

What is the Apprenticeship Service?

The Apprenticeship Service is the government portal for employers to find, fund, and manage apprenticeship programmes.

How do I set up an account?

You can create your account by clicking here.

You can use your account to:

  • access and manage apprenticeship funding
  • set up and approve apprentices
  • advertise roles on the find an apprenticeship service
  • approve training costs
  • check payments to training providers
  • give training providers permission to carry out some tasks on your behalf
  • give feedback on apprenticeship training

Before setting up your apprenticeship service account

You’ll need:

  • an email address you have access to
  • the Government Gateway login for your organisation (or you can use the accounts office reference number and employer PAYE scheme reference number if your annual pay bill is less than £3 million)
  • authority to add PAYE schemes to the account
  • authority to accept the employer agreement on behalf of your organisation

You will be ask you to:

  • create an account
  • add a PAYE scheme on behalf of your organisation
  • accept the employer agreement with the ESFA
Apprenticeship Levy

If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you must pay the apprenticeship levy.

Your annual pay bill

Your annual pay bill is all payments to employees that are subject to employer Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions such as wages, bonuses and commissions. You must include payments to:

Your pay bill does not include earnings:

  • of employees under the age of 16
  • of employees who are not subject to UK National Insurance contributions legislation
  • on which Class 1A National Insurance contributions are payable, such as benefits in kind

For further information on the Apprenticeship Levy click here.

Non Levy Employers

As an employer that doesn’t pay the apprenticeship levy, you pay just 5% towards the cost of training and assessing an apprentice.

The government will pay the rest up to the funding band maximum.

You’ll pay the training provider directly and agree on a payment schedule.

If you employ fewer than 50 employees, the government will pay 100% of the apprenticeship training costs up to the funding band maximum for apprentices aged:

  • 16 to 18

  • 19 to 24 with an education, health and care plan provided by their local authority or has been in the care of their local authority

If you exceed the funding band maximum, you’ll need to pay all the additional costs.

If your apprentice started before 1 April 2019, you pay 10% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice and the government pays the rest. This rate continues until your apprentice completes their training.

Reserving funds

All non levy employer reservation levels will be reset to 0, which will allow any employer that does not pay the Apprenticeship Levy to make up to 10 new reservations to fund new starts in the financial year 2021-22.

Why there are reservation levels?
Reservation levels are for employers who do not pay the Apprenticeship Levy, reservations give you the confidence that the government will pay for apprenticeship training while also managing the availability and affordability of apprenticeship funding for all employers.

Funds can be reserved up to 6 months in advance 
Previously the reservation period was 3 months but from 1 April this will be extended to 6 months meaning that you will be able to reserve funds up to 6 months before an apprenticeship is planned to start.

The extension of the reservation period will provide you with more flexibility and reassurance that the funding is available to you.

For information on employing an apprentice for non-levy employers and also the additional Government incentives available from 1 April, please click here.