5 ways to make the most of the apprenticeship levy

1. Upskill existing staff

As levy payments only cover apprentice training, not salary, using the levy to provide apprenticeship training for existing members of staff is an excellent way to make sure you can utilise your entire levy pot.

Existing staff complete an apprenticeship in the same way as new starters, with 20% of their time allocated for study. In accordance with recent apprenticeship reforms staff can now take apprenticeships at the same or lower level as a qualification already held, as long as it’s in a different area, where the individual needs significant new knowledge and skills.


2. Make sure your funds don’t expire

Use it or lose. Levy funds expire after 24 months, so make sure you plan ahead – whether you plan to hire new staff or upskill existing team members – ensure that you have employees ready to begin their training and provision agreed with providers.

To help minimise the amount of funds that expire, your digital account will automatically use the funds that entered your account first and you’ll be notified well in advance of any funds expiring. Kent and other providers are able to provide advice on planning for the levy.


3. Get additional training funding when your levy runs out

If spending your whole levy pot isn’t a problem, the government will co-invest 90% of any additional training you wish to purchase – as long as you pay the remaining 10% – if the funds in a given month aren’t enough to meet the costs of your apprenticeship training (up to the maximum value of the funding band for the apprenticeship).


4. Share with your supply chain

From 2018 the government plans to enable employers to share up to 10% of their levy pot with other companies – such as those in their supply chain. There is substantial scope for sharing funds in this way to have benefits for businesses more broadly, including improved corporate relations and increased productivity across the supply chain.


5. Additional Payments

Employers may also receive payments towards the additional cost associated with training if, at the start of the apprenticeship, the apprentice is aged between 16 and 18 years old, or aged between 19 and 24 years old and has either an EHC plan or has been in the care of the local authority. The government will also fund all the apprenticeship training costs, up to the maximum value of the funding band for the apprenticeship, for employers employing fewer than 50 people (SME).


If you’d like more advice on making the most of your levy payments contact us at apprenticeships@kent.ac.uk.

Please note: government funding arrangements are subject to change, for the latest information visit: https://www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships.