“One of the Government’s flagship targets for this parliament is to create 3 million apprentices and, to facilitate this, they need to increase the number of employers engaging with apprenticeships.
“The levy will be charged at a rate of 0.5% of your annual pay bill and will be paid monthly to HMRC through the PAYE process.
“The funds will enter an account with the Digital Apprenticeship Service where a 10% top up from the government will also be added as an extra incentive for you to invest in apprenticeships.
“These funds can then be used to pay for training and assessment services from registered training providers for apprentices in your organisation. Any unused funds will expire after 18 months so it’s important to start planning now to ensure you get the most benefit from your investment.
“And what about those smaller employers who won’t fall into the levy paying category?
“From April 2017 smaller business will continue to benefit from government funding for any apprenticeships they take on as they do now but will have to make a financial contribution at a rate still to be confirmed (current trials have been £2 government funding for every £1 employer contribution).
“Today’s apprenticeships are a far cry from the time served programmes of the past. New standards are up-to-date, flexible and ensure apprentices gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to perform competently in the workplace. They are proving popular with employers and learners alike with almost 500,000 people starting an apprenticeship last year alone.
“Apprenticeships can be an excellent way of growing talent within your company and should form an integral part of your recruitment, training and succession planning strategies. New apprenticeships cover a wide range of sectors with over 300 standards available from accountancy to care to management and are available at Intermediate, Advanced, Higher and Degree levels.
“Apprenticeship programmes can also be delivered flexibly to meet the needs of different businesses with a blend of off-job training, self-study and e-learning available to ensure your apprentice gains the knowledge they need combined with on-job mentoring, work experience and assessment to make the learning relevant.”
Access Training is a client of Clayton & Brewill chartered accountants. Clayton & Brewill provides accountancy, tax, audit and payroll services to businesses and individuals from its offices in Nottingham, Long Eaton and Melton Mowbray.