What is the apprenticeship levy?
To fund apprenticeships going forward, the apprenticeship levy was brought into effect from April 2017.
The apprenticeship levy is a charge for employers who have annual salary bills in excess of £3 million, so less than 2% of UK employers will pay it.
This charge will be calculated at 0.5% of an employer’s payroll and the money raised will be ring-fenced to pay for apprenticeships.
What’s the latest apprenticeship news?
Technical consultation on Apprenticeship Levy
On 14th December, the HMRC launched a technical consultation on draft apprenticeship levy regulations which include the calculation, reporting, payment and recovery of the levy. Central YMCA responded to the consultation and await further announcements.
Institute for Apprenticeships announces Board Members
The Government has announced eight board members for the Institute for Apprenticeships. Board members include business, LEP and college representatives but fall short of appointing a board member to represent independent training providers. YMCA Training has written to Peter Lauener, CEO of the IfA, to highlight the good work the charity and independent sector do and have called for better representation.
Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) to go live in February
The new Digital Apprenticeship service (DAS), which lets levy-payers access their accounts and make payments online, has been cleared for use according to the Department for Education.
It is believed that levy-payers will be able to use DAS to choose the types of apprenticeships they want to run, the number of apprentices they take on, and appropriate training providers.
Concerns raised about the Levy
Following a visit to YMCA Training Doncaster, Dame Rosie Winterton MP attended a session in the House of Commons to raise concerns surrounding the apprenticeship reform programme.
Rosie said: “It is really important that we ensure that training providers, like YMCA Training, are given the support they need, particularly in terms of investment in skills training, as apprenticeships play a vital role in enhancing life chances of working-class kids and improving social mobility.”
She also discussed concerns raised during her visit regarding funding for smaller, non-levy paying employers and the transitional funding arrangements. Ms Winterton has now written to the Secretary of State on YMCA Training’s behalf and is currently awaiting a response.