Large Employers can pledge and transfer apprenticeship levy funds through a new service to help businesses offer apprenticeships
The new online service makes it easier for Levy paying employers to transfer unspent levy funds to support apprenticeships in other businesses.
This is a great way for employers to help other businesses, create opportunities and close skills gaps in sectors and locations they want to support.
How it works
Levy paying employers can now create a pledge of up to 25% of their annual levy funds. They can select how much funding they want to transfer and set optional criteria for the types of businesses and apprenticeships they would like to support.
Why transfer my apprenticeship levy funds?
Large employers that pay the apprenticeship levy can choose to transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year to other businesses to pay for their apprenticeship training and assessment.
Transferring levy funds is a way of supporting other businesses by deciding which sectors, skills or local areas they would like to fund.
For example, they could support the engineering sector across England, or fund digital apprenticeships in your local area, or support any apprenticeships in a particular town or city.
Which businesses and apprenticeships to support with a transfer is the Levy Employers choice.
All businesses will need an apprenticeship service account to receive a transfer of levy funds. Businesses that pay the apprenticeship levy can choose to either send or receive a transfer of levy funds but cannot send and receive a levy transfer at the same time.
What can levy transfers pay for?
Transferred funds can only be used to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment up to the funding band maximum.
Transfers can only be used for a new apprentice start. This doesn’t mean the apprentice has to be a new employee. It means you cannot receive transfer funding for an employee who has already started their apprenticeship.
The exception to this is when an apprentice changes employer. The apprentice can continue their apprenticeship with a new employer, funded by a transfer of levy funds.
Creating a pledge
To create a pledge, employers need to sign in to their apprenticeship service account, go to ‘Finances’ and then ‘Transfers’.
They can also use their account to review, approve or reject any pledge applications.
A transfer of levy funds is not a one-off payment. By agreeing to transfer levy funds to another business, you are committing to pay for a specific apprenticeship throughout its duration until the apprenticeship has been completed.
Levy employers will be able to advertise their funding pledges on a dedicated gov.uk page which is due to go live shortly.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
‘Our small and medium-sized businesses are the cornerstone of our economy, and so I’m thrilled that we’re making it easier for them to take on apprentices.
‘Our Plan for Jobs is equipping people with the skills they need to find work, and I’m immensely proud to see these new reforms providing even more apprenticeship opportunities.’
Global consultancy and construction company Mace Group took part in a pilot to test the new system last month, pledging £100,000 and will transfer a further £350,000 to £500,000 each year for other businesses to access. The funds will be advertised on the dedicated the gov.uk page later this month so that businesses in the construction sector can access and create apprenticeship opportunities, addressing skills gaps in the sector.
Amazon UK Country Manager John Boumphrey said:
Amazon is proud to be a major supporter of apprenticeships in the UK. Earlier this year we announced 1,000 new full-time apprenticeship roles in 25 different schemes from engineering to broadcast production, robotics to safety technician. In June, we launched a £2.5 million Apprenticeship Fund to help small businesses across England upskill their workforces through levy transfers.
We look forward to working with the Government to make apprenticeships more accessible and this flexibility will be a boost to many people looking to start and develop their careers.
Aspire to Learn works with both SME’s and Levy employers; we will keep you updated when the site goes live.
If you are a Levy employer and wish to use your Levy to help your local businesses or drive skills within a certain sector, get in touch with us at Aspire to Learn.
21 Sep 2021