As of April 2017, there will be changes around how apprenticeships are funded and delivered:
- All apprenticeship frameworks will be replaced by new employer-led standards by 2020.
- Anybody can do an apprenticeship (existing or new members of staff at any age).
- Each framework or standard is placed against a funding band, (for example, an intermediate business admin qualification won't cost more than £2,000, or a degree-level school business manager qualification won't cost more than £27,000).
- Who pays for the apprenticeship training is also changing:
- If you have less than 50 members of staff, the government covers all costs of the apprenticeship training (if the apprentice is aged between 16-18 on their first day of their apprenticeship).
- If you have less than 50 members of staff, the government covers 90% of the cost of the training, you cover 10%, (if the apprentice is aged 19+ on their first day of their apprenticeship).
- If you have 50 or more members of staff, but a pay-bill of less than £3m per year, the government covers 90% of the cost of the training, you cover 10%.
- If you have a pay-bill of over £3m per year, you will be a levy payer, where 0.5% of your annual pay bill is automatically placed into your levy pot by HMRC on a monthly basis, which you can then access using the Digital Apprenticeship Service to pay for your apprenticeship training.
- Any business who hires an apprentice between the age of 16 and 18 (or up to 24 for learners with learning difficulties or disabilities (LLDD) or a care leaver) will receive a £1,000 grant from the government.
- If your apprentice already has the same level of qualification as the apprenticeship they want to undertake, the training provider will have to prove that the qualification is completely different and/or necessary for their career progression.
Funding and incentives
If you are a small to medium sized business and have not employed an apprentice in the last 12 months, or have employed an apprentice but has since offered them a permanent position, you may be eligible for an apprenticeship wage grant of up to £2,000 (supported by Leeds Enterprise Partnership). This wage grant is available until the end of July 2017 on a 'first come first served' basis.