Apprenticeship Reforms – What you need to know

24 Mar 2017

Business Business School


From the 6th April this year, the way that employers fund apprenticeship training will change.

The government will introduce The Apprenticeship Levy as part of a plan to fund 3 million new apprenticeship places by 2020.

Employers will be able to choose the providers and organisations they want to deliver the training and asses their apprentices, giving employers more control.

How will the levy affect my business?

The Levy will apply to all organisations with an annual payroll of over £3million per year, whether they already employ apprentices or not.  All businesses with a pay bill over that amount will be required to invest in apprenticeships.

The Levy will be payable by employers in the UK at a rate of 0.5% of the payroll cost through PAYE,  in addition to Income Tax and National Insurance.

Employers in England that are required to pay the levy and provide Apprenticeships will receive Digital Apprenticeship Vouchers, which they can spend on training for their employees.

What if I don’t pay the levy?

Businesses with a payroll of under £3million will not be required to pay the levy, and you won’t need to use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until 2018.

However, when the new funding system begins in May 2017 employers will be required to pay a 10% contribution to the cost of training, with the government paying the rest – up to the maximum amount of funding available for that apprenticeship.

Employers who don’t pay the levy will also be able to choose the training your apprentices receive.

What can St Helens Chamber do for me?

Whether you are a levy paying business or not, St Helens Chamber can offer support and guidance on preparing for the reforms.

Staff from our Training Services and Apprenticeship programmes can analyse your training, identifying any skills gaps the business may have now or experience in the future.

St Helens Chamber can also advise on equivalent apprenticeships that match training already being paid for and provide a business health check to ensure funds from the Apprenticeship levy are spent correctly.

We can also deliver apprenticeships either to new recruits or existing staff.

If you would like more information about the Apprenticeship reforms or training call the Workforce Development Team on 01744 742333, email