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Apprenticeship Levy Readiness Toolkit

From frameworks to standards, apprenticeships are changing. The immediate task ahead of us is the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy which is payable from 5 April 2017.

Employers will be making their first payments on 19 May with the monthly PAYE and NI sum. With this will come the setting up of the online Apprenticeship Service with the employers’ new digital wallets and accounts for reclaiming the Levy.

At the same time, a new range of reformed apprenticeships (trailblazers) will start to be used. These involve formal End-Point Assessment (EPA) by an independent body. These independent bodies are known as: Apprenticeship Assessment Organisations (AAOs). The EPA will determine an apprentice’s competency against the knowledge, skills and behaviours specified by employers. NOCN is a market-leading AAO appointed by the Government to provide EPA in a range of sectors, including engineering, financial services, health care, public service, retail and science engineering technology.

The first step for employers is understanding how to maximise the benefits as opposed to the costs of the Levy. It is then vital that employers properly plan out apprenticeship programmes which involves choosing a training provider and AAO from the outset. It is therefore vital that employers start to build these relationships now.

We are working with employers to make sure they are prepared using our Apprenticeship Readiness Toolkit based on ten critical lines of enquiry, including the following key issues 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?

With years of experience in the development and delivery of apprenticeships and having been at the forefront of apprenticeship reforms, we are well placed to provide employers with a range of expert advice and guidance on employing an apprentice, using the online Apprenticeship Service, setting up and organising operations for apprenticeships, designing assessment regimes and becoming an Assessment Centre.