It’s no secret that the government has been working with employers to further increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in England. The current apprenticeship reforms are designed to focus on the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are required for the workforce of the future. They also aim to give the employer more control over the funding, how it is spent and enables apprenticeships to be as accessible as possible.
The current proposals will also change the way the government funds apprenticeships in England from April 2017. For some schools there will be a requirement to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy.
What do schools need to be aware of with the apprenticeship reforms and the new apprenticeship levy?
For schools, the next step is to look into the apprenticeship levy and ensure they fully understand the changes and how they could affect their school. As with any change in the law there is a certain criteria to meet and regulations to be aware off, such as:
- Only employers with an annual pay bill of over £3 million will pay the levy.
- The apprenticeship levy is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s annual pay bill.
- All employers will have an annual levy allowance of £15,000.
- For non-levy paying employers the government will pay 90% of the cost of training and assessment, up to a cap as co-investment.
It is important to note that if the employer of the staff in your school is a local authority, a governing body which controls more than one school, or a multi-academy trust with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, you may contribute to the levy through them. The annual levy allowance of £15,000 will apply to the overall employer (and not each school in this case).
This DfE has produced a detailed guide providing information specifically for schools. The guide advises on all aspects of apprenticeships from; what apprenticeships are, how your school can use them, how the apprenticeship levy will work, and how the public sector target will apply to schools. You can view this guide on their website.