The Apprenticeship levy came into effect in April 2017, and employers with a payroll in excess of £3 million per annum started to contribute towards the Apprenticeship Levy. However, only 14% of eligible businesses have started to use their levy funds, leaving £1.3billion unspent in the Levy pot. Those employers who have built up Apprenticeship Levy funds had two years to claim back the funding against eligible training programmes – but that deadline is approaching fast.
April 2019 will mark two years since those first contributions were made, meaning those employers who don’t use their levy will begin to lose the money they’ve put in unless they take control of these funds. So what could be the reasons so many employers are leaving £1.3billion in training funds unspent?
Outdated views of Apprenticeships
Contrary to certain beliefs, apprenticeships are no longer seen as the entry-level or school leaver’s career pathways. They are being used to train future leaders with the skill, knowledge and behaviours needed to take businesses to next level of growth and expansion.
Apprenticeships have been created by employer trailblazers from all industries, and have created with Apprenticeship from entry-level to higher level, so there is no reason for any employer not to be taking advantage of this fund and training the future talent to lead their business.
Negative views of the Apprenticeship Levy
Sadly it has been reported that some employers view the Apprenticeship Levy simply as a business tax so they have been slow to make use of the funds available to them. This is unfortunate for Apprentices but more so for Employers who should see the Levy as an additional training fund asset for their business to use in either upskilling existing staff or bringing on new school leavers to support the businesses goals.
For employers who are utilising the benefits of the funding, the most significant course uptake seen since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy has been modern Apprenticeships in Leadership and Management.
Uncertainty on what the Apprenticeship Levy is and how to use it
Part of the issue could be that a third of employers paying into the Apprenticeship Levy don’t even know what the levy is, not to mention the types of Apprenticeship training programmes they can use it for. It’s surprising to find that people are paying into something, without really knowing what they’re paying it for.
Working in collaboration with an Apprenticeship training provider like Paragon Skills allows employers to sit down and set out what the business needs, and how the Levy funds can be used to help you to resolve any skills gaps.
How we can help
It’s time to see the Apprenticeship not as a tax, but as a platform for you to engage with your staff across all levels of your business and help them to develop within their roles.
If you work for a company which is paying into an Apprenticeship Levy and are interested in gaining new skills, you are in control of your businesses Levy fund or are unsure of what this means and how to proceed, contact us today on 0800 783 2545 and we can advise you how to move forward.