An innovative new Government service will help businesses create and recruit more apprentices, it has been announced.
The online service, launched by the Department for Education, helps large businesses to spend the Apprenticeship Levy or pass it down to smaller businesses.
Launched in 2017, the Apprenticeship Levy is paid by large employers with a wage bill exceeding £3 million. The compulsory tax is used to fund the development and delivery of apprenticeships, with any unused cash passed down to small, non-levy paying businesses.
Up to 25 per cent of an employer’s annual levy pot can be used to support smaller employers to take on apprentices.
However, research found that unused levy funds were not always being redirected to small businesses as intended; some £133 million from apprenticeship levy accounts expired before it could be used in 2019.
The new service intends to “simplify the process” for both employers looking to transfer funds and those seeking to access funding.
For example, larger businesses can now advertise their funding pledges on a publicly available web page, enabling hiring managers to browse and apply for available funds.
Commenting on the new service, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan said: “I’m pleased we’re making it easier for smaller and medium-sized businesses to offer apprenticeships, which will unleash exciting new opportunities for apprentices and ensure that every business can benefit from the productivity and skills of apprentices.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak added: “Our small and medium-sized businesses are the cornerstone of our economy, and so I’m thrilled that we’re making it easier for them to take on apprentices.”
The new online service can be found here.
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