Explaining the Apprenticeship Levy

The apprenticeship levy was introduced by the government on April, 6th 2017. All employers with an annual wage bill of £3 million plus will pay into the levy, to invest in apprenticeships. 

This affects roughly 1.5% to 2% of employers in England, who will then access the apprenticeship levy to fund apprenticeships. Those affected by the levy will contribute 0.5% of their annual wage bill but will also be allocated a £15,000 per year allowance for training plus a 10% monthly top-up from the government paid, directly into their digital apprenticeship service account. 

The Levy is paid directly via PAYE to HMRC and the funds will expire after 24 months, meaning this is a use-it-or-lose-it scenario for the levy funding. 

It is possible for employers to top-up their levy funds if they wished to put additional candidates through apprenticeship programmes over and above their levy contributions. 

What about smaller businesses? 

From January 2020 SMEs who are not paying into the apprenticeship levy can now access co-investment funding by the same online system as levy-paying employers. This means that you can choose from the full list of training providers and 95% of the funding for the training and assessment of your apprentice(not salary) will be paid by the Government with your business contributing the remaining 5%.

From April 2024 the Government will cover 100% of apprenticeship training costs for those aged 16 - 21 years at the time of starting their apprenticeship.

To register to reserve your funding and select your training provider please use this link to the Government’s website:


Funding can be reserved for up to three months and will cover 95% of the cost to train up to three Apprentices.

If you would like further information on how these changes will affect your business, you can contact the apprenticeship employer helpline via the online form or on 0800 0150 600 or speak to one of Professional Academy’s business development team who would be happy to help.

Professional Academy are only registered to provide apprenticeships to companies who are using the Government’s online system. If you are a non-levy paying company who is interested in apprenticeships please signup with the link above to reserve your funding and select us as your preferred training provider. We will be able to support you fully from that point onwards.

If you would like to talk to one of our business development team about the apprenticeship programmes available and how the schemes will work, please do contact us via our Apprenticeship contact form, or drop us a call on 01223 365 505 and one of our team would be happy to have chat at any time.