Higher & Degree Level Apprenticeships - what do you need to know?

Higher & Degree Level Apprenticeships - what do you need to know?

We are pleased to be able to provide you with the very latest information through publication of the University’s Guide to Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships. The government’s reform of apprenticeships, and its aspiration to grow the number of apprentices in training during this Parliament is shaping how apprenticeships are being designed, developed, delivered and funded going forward. 

The guide aims to provide you with a brief oversight of these developments and explains how you will be able to gain further information, on what is a changing landscape. We hope you will find our guide to Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships useful to you and your organisation going forward. 

What do you need to know?

On 6th April 2017 the way the Government funds apprenticeships training in England for all employers is changing, with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy for UK employers who meet the criteria, based on the annual pay bill.

Current information known:

  • The levy will be 0.5% of pay bill with an allowance of £15,000.
  • The levy will be paid on pay bills in excess of £3m.
  • Employers will have the responsibility to calculate, report and pay the levy to HMRC alongside their usual PAYE payments.
  • The first time eligible that employers will have to declare their liability will be May 2017, for the levy due on their April payroll. Employers will then be able to see funding in their digital accounts, after their declaration to HMRC, after 22nd May 2017.
  • The first payments to providers for apprentices with levy paying employers who start in May, will be June 2017.
  • Employers in England who pay the levy and are committed to apprenticeship training will be able to get out more than they pay into the levy, through a 10% top-up of funds to their digital account to spend in England on apprenticeships.
  • Funds will expire 24 months after they enter an employer Digital Account, unless spent on apprenticeship training. The account will work on a first in, first out basis to minimise the amount of expired funds.

What do employers need to do?

Start planning!  Even though the apprenticeship levy does not come into force until April 2017, eligible organisations will have to factor this significant additional cost into budgeting exercises that are taking place now.

The introduction of the levy is also likely to have a major impact on how training is organised and funded within larger organisations going forward. 

As an employer, you may need to ‘step-back’ and conduct a fairly high-level review of the skills required by your business.  Where might you expand your training offering (either by recruiting apprentices or encouraging existing employees to take up apprenticeship training) to make the most or your levy payment?  Ask yourself where will external apprenticeship training provision help you boost productivity.

If you would like to discuss how the University could help you maximise the use of your levy to grow skills in your workforce please contact Ewan Pullan, Employer Engagement Manager, University of Cumbria

T: 01228 888733
M: 07801 340433
E: ewan.pullan@cumbria.ac.uk

Download our Employer Guide to Higher Level Apprenticeships

Visit the Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships page for the most up to date information from the University of Cumbria.