How small businesses will be affected by the apprenticeship levy

Since the announcement regarding the apprenticeship levy last year, the focus has been on who will have to pay, how much they will have to pay and where this will be invested.  The apprenticeship levy, to be launched in 2017, will impact those businesses with a £3million or more wage bill, and they will be required to pay 0.5% of the total wage bill.  These businesses will then have digital accounts from which to spend their money on training their apprentices, but this criteria does not cover even 2% of UK businesses, so what about those whose wage bill is less than this?


Skills Minister, Nick Boles, announced recently that smaller employers who won’t be applicable for this levy won’t see any change to the way their apprentices are funded until 2019.  Currently, the government funds 100% of the training for an apprentice aged between 16 and 18, and if you work with a training provider they will apply for the funding on your behalf, as they will then deliver the training and qualifications to your learner.


Apprentices aged between 19 and 24 years old may be partially funded but it’s likely as an employer, you will need to make some financial contribution.  All apprentices are entitled to a salary and all the same rights as your other employees, such as holiday, sick pay etc.  Employers are also entitled to apply for a grant for £1,500, as long as you have less than 50 employees, the apprentice is aged 16 – 24 years old and if you haven’t hired an apprentice in the last year.


It is envisaged that all employers will be moved over to the new digital system by 2019-20.


More details on the apprenticeship levy are expected this month.  To ensure you are kept up-to-date with the announcements, follow our Aspire Training Team Linkedin or Facebook pages.  To find out more about recruiting an apprentice in business administration, childcare or health and social care, you can contact the Aspire Training Team on 01202 551553 or email

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