Almost a year has passed since the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in May 2017, and with a time constraint of 24 months to spend it, time is running out.
Many businesses appear to be ‘banking’ their Levy funds in the notion that they can make a one-off payment towards the costs of Apprenticeship training at a later date. But don’t be mislead, you cannot pay the total cost of Apprenticeship training in one go using Levy funds.The cost of the qualification will be broken down and payments will always be taken monthly, and you cannot make any ‘back payments’.
If you haven’t spent any of your Apprenticeship Levy, don’t panic, it’s not too late. April is the new financial year, so now is the ideal time to start planning your Apprenticeship Levy spend to make best use of your funds.
Read on to find out how you can make the most of your Levy funds before they expire and implement a successful Apprenticeship training programme for your workforce.
4 Steps to making the most of your Levy spend
- 1. Review your business needs
Before you start to think about recruiting new apprentices or upskilling your existing members of staff using an Apprenticeship, take time to review your current business needs as well as your existing training and recruitment requirements. Identify any areas of your organisation that would benefit from a skills boost and then consider using funded Apprenticeship training to fill those gaps.
- 2. Partner with a Training Provider
Working with an experienced training provider such as RM Training can help you to make the most of your Apprenticeship Levy funds by gaining on-going professional advice and support.
Regardless of your industry, we can assist you by working through common processes such as setting up and managing your digital Apprenticeship account and ensuring you gain the most value from the funds allocated to you.
- 3. Manage your digital account effectively
Bear in mind that payments only start from the month that an Apprentice begins their training programme, so for those of you who have a backlog of funds building up in your digital account, you are likely to gain a false impression of what you can afford via your Levy funds.
Apprenticeship training costs will always be debited monthly, so paying for 6 months of training in one go, isn’t an option.
For advice on how to calculate how much funding you have to actually use on a monthly basis contact our Levy account manager David MacGregor on 01322 217072 or email@example.com
- 4. Consider the different ways to use your Levy
Don’t forget that Apprenticeships apply to existing employees, as well as new employees. Levy payments can only be used to cover Apprenticeship training, and not staff salaries, so utilising the Levy to upskill your existing staff members is a great way to spend your Levy funds without increasing your existing head count.
Don’t worry if your Levy funds run out
If your investment into the Levy reduces or if you run out of funds in your Levy pot, what happens next? It’s called co-investment and means you are able to access additional funding in the same way as non-Levy payers. Co-investment means you’ll only pay 10% of Apprenticeship training costs to your training provider, while the government will pay the remaining 90%.
Unused Levy contributions – what happens to them?
Levy funds that you do not utilise will expire 24 months after they enter your Apprenticeship account. The account operates on a first-in, first-out basis, so when you make a payment towards an Apprenticeship from your Levy account, it will use the funds that entered your account first.
Any money not spent within 24 months will be removed from your account and put into the general Apprenticeship fund. Missing out on effectively using your Levy funds could mean competitors take advantage of your unused funds, as essentially, you’ll be paying for someone else’s training costs!
If you haven’t spent your funds yet, it’s not too late…
RM Training can help you make the most of your Apprenticeship Levy. If you haven’t spent yours yet, don’t panic. We’re here to work with you, offer advice and help you to identify your skills and training needs, so you are comfortable with how you spend your Levy funds.
For more information, simply contact our Business Development Team today on 01322 217072, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org