09th September 2015

UKTI: Apprenticeships Levy Consultation

The Government is launching a consultation on the apprenticeship levy which will run until 2 October. BIS are particularly welcoming views from employers, business organisations, training organisations and anyone with a vested interest.

In summary, the consultation seeks views on:

  • Paying the levy;
  • How the levy should work for employers who operate across the whole of the UK;
  • How to make sure that employers paying the levy have the opportunity to get more out than they put in;
  • How best to give employers control of apprenticeships.

The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Life Sciences Organisation (LSO) would like to encourage the life sciences industry to respond to the consultation. We would also find it helpful to be copied in on any response (if possible).

How can people respond?

The consultation is now open and can be accessed online here

If you wish to raise points or queries which are not covered in the consultation, please mail to the dedicated mailbox.

You can respond to the consultation by 2 October 2015.

Key Dates:

  • The consultation will run until 2 October 2015.
  • After the consultation has ended, a formal response will be published in the autumn.

What is the apprenticeship levy?

In the Summer Budget, the Government announced the introduction of an apprenticeship levy on large employers to help fund 3 million new apprenticeships this Parliament to support the development of the UK’s skills base and help to drive long term productivity.

It is proposed that the levy will be calculated on the basis of employee earnings and for employers to pay the levy through their PAYE return to HMRC. Further details on the rate and scope of the levy will be announced as part of the Spending Review in the autumn.

The levy will apply to employers in all sectors, but will only apply to larger employers. It is proposed that the size of employers will be calculated in relation to the total number of employees. However, recognising that data on the number of employees is not currently provided through PAYE at employer level and the potential for some more complex cases (such as franchises), the Government would welcome views on how the size of firm should be calculated.

It is also proposed that employers of all sizes in England will use the same digital voucher system to pay for the apprenticeship training they want. As such, all employers, both those who pay the levy and those who do not, will use the same system.

In the autumn, more detail will be set out about how employers who are outside of the scope of the levy can access apprenticeships funding.