The Government’s Apprenticeship Reforms come into effect in May 2017. But what do you need to know now?
The reforms give employers more control over designing, choosing and paying for Apprenticeship training. The government will double the annual number of Apprenticeships which will be funded by the new Apprenticeship levy. The levy will be paid by employers with a pay bill of over £3m from April 2017; this equates to less than 2% of employers in the UK.
The Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS)
All paying employers in England will have access to a digital account on the Apprenticeship Service to manage their Apprenticeship programme. Some of the functions are already available on GOV.UK to all employers:
• Employers can estimate their levy contribution through the indicative online tool, begin to plan training requirements and estimate financial spend
• Through find Apprenticeship training search for an appropriate Apprentice standard, a quality assured training provider and compare one provider with another
• Through recruit an Apprentice, training providers can post vacancies for Apprenticeships and traineeships. This will be opened up to employers at a later date
In addition to the functions available to all employers, from May 2017 levy-paying employers will be able to access funding for apprenticeships through their account and:
• negotiate and pay for Apprenticeship training and assessment
• manage their funding and Apprentices, view their levy balance and plan their spending
• stop or pause payments (for example, if their Apprentice stops their training, takes a break from training or the employer hasn’t received the service agreed with the provider).
To access their funding, levy-paying employers will need to set up a digital account on the Apprenticeship service using their Government Gateway ID and PAYE scheme details; your company payroll teams should have this.
Non-levy paying employers
Non-levy paying employers will be able to negotiate and agree their Apprenticeship programme with their chosen training provider. 90% of the Apprenticeship training and assessment costs in England will be paid by the government. Employers must make a 10% contribution to the cost, paid directly to the training provider. If you employ less than 50 people the government will pay 100% of training and assessment costs for Apprentices aged 16-18 and for those aged 19-24 formerly in care or with a local authority education, health and care plan.
What to do now?
If you are a levy paying company and want advice and support call 01509 515410
If you are a non-levy paying company you may be able to take an Apprentice before May 2017 with no employer contribution at all, so call on 01509 515410 to get your FREE Apprenticeship audit.