If you fall under the levy funding umbrella, then 0.5% of your organisations annual paybill will currently be sitting in a pot ready to be reinvested into training and development.
Worryingly, employers spent just 10% of their funds in the first year. And with less than 8 months to spend the remaining capital, employers could risk losing this money altogether.
How does the levy work?
The apprenticeship levy was introduced in April 2017 for businesses with an yearly payroll bill of £3 million or more. Money is collected by the government alongside income tax and national insurance, and can be claimed back through a digital account.
Funds are due to expire in April 2019, 24 months after the commencement of the levy. One this happens, they are gone for good. Employers cannot request this money back.
What can levy funding be spent on?
Don’t let the terminology apprenticeship levy throw you. Yes, the levy can be invested in apprenticeships, but it it is also there to support in upskilling your current employees.
This can be anything from management programmes to individualised disciplines such as accounting or digital. It must also be spent with an approved training provider or assessment organisation.
Levy spending can not include expenses such as licenses to practice or work placement programmes.
What to consider
If you haven’t already, then you urgently need to start thinking about your levy strategy. How will you divide the funding across your organisation and how will this be managed?
You will need to consider the best approach for your business model. This will be different for every organisation. Let’s say that you are already in the process of branching out to a new market. In this case, your levy funding is the perfect opportunity to upskill.
Or perhaps you would benefit from bringing in some fresh talent. Therefore, learning more about apprenticeships and setting up an apprenticeship programme might be the way to go.
There’s no right or wrong path, but maximise your levy resource in a way that best suits your organisational needs will ensure optimum results for growth.
Finally, you will need to consider which training provider is best placed to help you implement your strategy. For this, you will need to ensure you use choose an approved assessor who is qualified to carry out the relevant training, a list of which can be found here.