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Transferring apprenticeship levy funds

For the first phase, employers who have unused funds in their apprenticeship account will be able to transfer some of those funds to 1 other employer. The number of employers you will be able to transfer funds to will increase over time and after user feedback from the first phase.

Employers who want to transfer funds can find employers who want to receive a transfer in a number of ways, for example:

  • work with an employer in your supply chain
  • get in touch with employers in your industry
  • get in touch with an Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA)
  • work with regional partners

Employers can transfer a maximum of 10% of annual funds. 

These funds will be used to pay for the training and assessment cost of the apprenticeships agreed with the receiving employer and will be paid monthly for the duration of the apprenticeship.

Only levy-paying employers can make a transfer.

Any employer can receive and use transferred funds, but they have to be registered on the apprenticeship service.

A transfer can only be used to pay for training and assessment for apprenticeship standards, and can only be used for new starts.

A transfer cannot be used for an apprentice that started before 1 May 2018.

How will transferring funds work?

The sending employer and the receiving employer need to first agree the details of the transfer of funds; for example, which apprenticeship standard, how many apprentices, the cost.

Once both employers are registered on the apprenticeship service the following must be done in their accounts to complete a transfer:

  • connect with each other
  • receiving employer to add the apprentice details
  • confirm the transfer

Employers who want to receive a transfer

If you want to receive a transfer from another employer you must be aware of the following:

  • you can only use the transferred funds for apprenticeship training and assessment
  • transferred funds can only be used for apprenticeship standards
  • you’ll need to create an account on the apprenticeship service to receive the transfer and pay for apprenticeship training
  • you’ll need to sign an agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
  • transfer payments will be made monthly from the sending employer to your apprenticeship account
  • if the apprenticeship stops then the funding will stop too
  • you won’t have to pay any funds back to the sending employer
  • if the employer sending you funds runs out of funds, you must make a 10% contribution to the cost of apprenticeship training and the government will pay the remaining 90% (this is called co-investment)
  • a transfer can fund up to the funding band maximum of a standard, if the cost of training is more, you’ll have to pay the difference to the training provider
  • if a training provider transfers funds to you, they cannot deliver the training for that funded apprenticeship
  • the funding rules around transferring apprenticeship funds

Employers who are transferring funds

Before you make a transfer from your apprenticeship account, make sure that you:

  • have enough funds to transfer to another employer
  • have a clear understanding of the forecasted cost to you, which will cover the duration of the apprenticeship you’ve agreed to fund through a transfer
  • understand that you will be funding the total cost of their apprenticeship and not just the 10% co-investment
  • agree with the employer who is receiving the transfer, details of the apprenticeships you’re funding
  • are aware of the funding rules around transferring apprenticeship funds

You should also know:

  • if you currently have an apprentice funded by a transfer, you can’t transfer funds to another employer
  • if you are currently transferring funds to another employer, you can’t receive transferred funds to pay for your apprenticeships
  • once a transfer is made you can’t refund it to the sending employer
  • transfer payments will be made monthly from your apprenticeship account
  • if the apprenticeship stops, your transferred payments will stop as well

State Aid

You need to know that 10% of all the funds you receive as a transfer from another employer count as state aid. Therefore, you should check:

  • how much state aid you’ve already received in any 3 year period, so you don’t go over the €200,000 limit you’re allowed
  • if you’re part of a connected organisation, you’ll need to find out the combined total of state aid you’ve received for that 3 year period