In the Spotlight: How To Access Funds From the Apprenticeship Levy

June 27, 2023

This is our second instalment in our In the Spotlight series on Apprenticeships and here we’re demonstrating how you can access funds from the Apprenticeship Levy and what they can be used for.

Before you begin, you should check out our first segment on Understanding the Apprenticeship Levy where we examined which organisations need to pay the Apprenticeship Levy and how to calculate your bill.

Table of Contents

What is the Levy used for?

The Apprenticeship Levy is used to fund apprenticeship training in the UK.  Some employers treat their levy bill as a cost of doing business and never access their account to offset the cost of using their funds against apprenticeship training.  However, all employers who pay toward the Apprenticeship Levy have access to their funds in an account – which also includes a 10% top-up from the Government.

How can I access funds from the Apprenticeship Levy?

All apprenticeships are arranged through the Apprenticeship Service and levy paying employers will have access to their fund account via the Online Apprenticeship Service.  You will need to set up your employer account, but from there you will be able to;

Employers who do not pay the levy can still access support for apprenticeship training, find out more about how to reserve and access funds as a non-levy paying employer here

Can I use the fund for any formal training in my organisation?

No.  Funds from the Apprenticeship Levy can only be used to offset the costs of approved apprenticeship training in the UK.  Use your online account to view a full list of approved apprenticeships and find suitable training providers who will facilitate using your Levy funds towards this training.

Don’t forget, training opportunities for which you can use the fund go way beyond what you may think of in the traditional apprenticeship sense.

Can I use my account to fund apprentice salaries?

Nice try!  The fund can only be used for apprenticeship training and towards associated costs of training providers who administer the training and draw down monies from your account.

How long do I have to use my funds?

Employers paying into the Apprenticeship Levy have 24 months in which to access and use their funds.  Employers not paying the Levy will need to follow a different process for reserving funds for apprenticeships.

What if the apprenticeship is longer than 24 months?

Training costs can continue to be withdrawn for as long as the employer continues to pay the Levy, and for up to 24 months after the final payment whilst there are sufficient funds in their account.  New funds enter the account each month whilst the Levy is being paid and the costs for apprenticeship training are met in monthly instalments, meaning employers can continue to withdraw funds in line with their requirements, regardless of the length of each apprenticeship they offer.

What if I don’t use my funds?

The Levy was set up to create long-term, sustainable funding for apprenticeships, allowing employers easier access to a range of formal training opportunities.  Employers paying into the Levy will have 24 months from the month of deposit to use their funds, after such time, the funds will expire.  Unspent levy funds are used to pay for existing apprentices to complete their training and for smaller (non-levy paying) employers to provide training opportunities.  Levy-paying employers are also able to transfer up to 25% of their fund value directly to other Companies, helping smaller businesses with the costs of apprenticeship training.

If your organisation needs HR advice or support, Vero HR can help. We will provide you with dedicated HR services to effectively manage your workforce and assist with all your HR requirements.  Contact us today to find out how we can help your business.

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