Transfers were launched in April 2018, levy-paying employers could transfer a maximum amount of 10% of their annual funds.
From April 2019, the transfer allowance was increased to 25%.
Employers who pay the apprenticeship levy and have unused apprenticeship funds can ‘transfer’ these funds to other employers.
Transferred funds are used to pay for the training and assessment cost of the apprenticeships that are agreed with the receiving employer.
In the Prime Minister’s Skills Speech in September 2020 and the Spending Review announcement in November, announcements were made around expanding apprenticeships opportunities.
This included improvements to the transfers system so that unspent levy funds could be used more easily to support apprenticeships not just in big companies, but in the SMEs where there is so much potential for job creation.
Since the start of the year, a wide range of stakeholders; large employers, SME’s, Training Providers and Intermediaries, have been monitoring and feeding back information.
They have highlighted the current barriers around the existing transfers system, as well as the opportunities to improve transfers functionality to make it easier for everyone involved.
The 3 areas that have been identified for improvements are:
Advertises employers pledge’s
These will be accessible on a public-facing platform – employers, training providers and intermediaries will be able to view these
Employers set criteria
Employers will be able to set criteria over the apprenticeships that they wish to support with a transfer –location, sector, type of role and level
Existing matching services being offered at sector or location level can continue to work alongside the new online service.
Providers and Intermediary Bodies will be able to view the transfer opportunities within their location and/or sector by being able to view the advertised pledges on GOV.UK.
Later in the year a new export feature will be launched, whereby sending employers will be able to share the applications they have received.
The wrap-around service that existing matching services provide remains vital –from helping small businesses get an apprenticeship service account to undertaking due diligence checks on behalf of sending employers.