Large employers will soon be able to transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship levy funds to multiple businesses, helping to boost the number of high-quality apprenticeships across the country.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton announced the move at an event attended by over 160 top businesses to celebrate apprenticeships and the significant contribution they are making to their businesses and the wider economy.
The apprenticeship levy is giving employers a real opportunity to invest in high-quality training, helping to grow their business and get the skilled workforce they need to thrive and succeed. Only around 2% of employers pay the levy but that investment has funded more than 40% of the apprenticeships started in the last year.
Currently, levy-paying employers can transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship service funds to one other employer. After listening to businesses, the Minister’s announcement today goes further and provides even greater flexibility for businesses, so that from July, employers will be able to make transfers of up to 10% to as many other employers as they choose.
This move will lead to more quality apprenticeships being created and will help employers to work together in partnership, supporting them to take on apprentices who may not have done so otherwise.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:
It’s fantastic to see so many businesses taking advantage of the opportunity that the apprentice levy provides. As well as kick starting their apprenticeship programmes, business is now recognising the benefits an apprentice brings to the work place with enthusiasm and new ideas.
We want to keep improving apprenticeships for everyone and I am delighted that we are now extending the flexibility of the apprenticeship levy. If we look at what the Berkeley Group and Norfolk County Council are doing, this is business and the public sector using the apprenticeship programme to change people’s lives.
Commenting on the Government announcement, UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said “This is a step in the right direction to providing more flexibility in the levy. As a sector, we are the third largest private sector employer but we face huge challenges in labour and skills shortages in an industry with so much to offer in terms of reward and career progression.
“We welcome today’s news but will continue to call for further changes to ensure that the levy can achieve optimal effectiveness. More flexibility in how the levy can be spent would help to improve the return for employer and employee alike. A good starting point would be enabling larger employers to use the levy for apprenticeship-related costs and for unspent levy funds to be spent helping SMEs to employ and develop apprentices.”