Apprenticeship Levy FAQ
What is 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 requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to make an investment in apprenticeships. You can benefit from this investment by training apprentices.
The Tess Group, as an award-winning apprenticeship provider, will always assist any employer looking into the learning and development of their staff. If you want to know how the Apprenticeship Levy could affect you, please get in touch for more information.
If an apprenticeship isn’t on the ‘apprenticeship standard’ list, will it not be redeemable against the levy?
No – the levy fund can only be claimed to cover approved standards that are on the apprenticeships standard list.
Is the funding available for apprenticeships UK wide?
No – England only. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales apprenticeships are funded already.
Are there any age restrictions for the apprentice to be eligible for the new funding?
No – you can use funds to train an apprentice of any age. However it is best practice to use this to develop new skills be it existing staff or employing new staff.
Can I use the levy funds to offer apprenticeships to existing staff?
Existing staff will be eligible as long as the apprenticeship is relevant to their role and the most appropriate way of progressing/developing the learners career as a result i.e. upon completing the apprenticeship the member of staff will be promoted, given more responsibility, or moved into a more senior role.
Will I be able to draw on apprenticeship funding for existing staff who are on a contract of employment?
Yes, but an apprenticeship is subject to a minimum length so you must make a commitment for that person to be with you for 12 months.
Are employers required to give apprentices time off work to study?
Yes – you must give apprentices time off to study during their working hours. The number of hours and study mode is dependent on the standards and qualifications included. Do bear in mind that there will be no National Insurance payments for apprentices from April 2016 as the Government acknowledge employers must give study time.
Do employers have to use the job title ‘apprentice’ for these new recruits?
Job titles are set by your organisation, however the apprentice must sign an apprenticeship contract of employment.
Can a graduate start an apprenticeship?
The current funding rules state that as long as the apprentice does not have a qualification higher than the apprenticeship standard they are eligible.
There is still some clarification required on the funding rules that will apply to the levy which will be issued in the spring re. If someone already holds a level 6 degree, could they eligible for funding for either a relevant Degree Apprenticeship, or a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship if the apprenticeship is in a totally different area/specialism to their degree and is relevant to their role. We’ll update you when we have more clarity.
How much do we pay apprentices?
It differs – there is an apprentice minimum wage however often salaries are much higher than this is some sectors and roles.
Research current vacancies in your sector as a benchmark on the National Apprenticeship Service vacancy website. We would also recommend networking with your peers within the sector and sharing best practice. The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.30 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. Apprentices aged 19 or over who have completed your first year must be paid at least the National Minimum wage for their age.
Is there any criteria for apprentice recruitment or elimination from the programme?
Employers can set their own criteria when selecting apprentices. Some professional bodies will set minimum education to start a qualification within an apprenticeship standard. In terms of elimination, apprentices should be subject to normal performance management as they are a paid employee.
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