The Apprenticeship Levy

The Government is introducing the Apprenticeship Levy on 6 April 2017. The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships. All employers, whether eligible to contribute to the levy or not, will have access to funding for apprenticeship training from 1 May 2017.

With this will come a new range of reformed apprenticeships (trailblazers). These involve formal End-Point Assessment (EPA) by an independent body. These independent bodies are known as Apprenticeship Assessment Organisations (AAOs) and they are currently formally approved (licensed) by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). See the Government’s Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations (RoAAO).

Click here for the latest Government guidelines for employers on apprenticeship funding and how paying into the levy and/or accessing funding from 1 May 2017 will work.

At NOCN, we are at the forefront of reforms to apprenticeships in the UK and our managing director Graham Hasting-Evans has been working closely with Government on the development of the levy scheme.

NOCN is approved as an AAO for seven industry sectors with currently 14 apprenticeship standards, making us one of the top-three AAOs in England. We are actively working in partnership with employers to ensure effective assessments are available from April 2017 when the reforms launch.

Through NOCN, preparation for the new apprenticeships starts with the ‘Apprenticeship Readiness Toolkit’ to test how prepared training providers and employers are for the implementation of the reforms. This takes employers and training providers through ten critical lines of enquiry to help them plan and prioritise for the implementation.

Key challenges for employers to consider:

  • Do you understand the implications for your business and have worked out how you will address these?
  • What range of jobs do you have and do you know the range of Apprenticeship Standards you can draw on?
  • Is there an existing apprenticeship programme in place in the organisation and how does need to change with the introduction of the Levy?
  • Are your managers and supervisors ready to support and mentor apprentices?
  • Do you have systems in place, with monitoring reports, for apprenticeships and claiming back the Levy?

Training providers also need to ensure they are ready and have the resources to support the 20% training component of each apprenticeship. AAOs need to ensure that they have all the systems and support in place for the End-Point Assessments.

Read more in our blog Apprenticeship Levy Readiness Toolkit for Employers

Want to know more?