Totton College offers a range of services that enable employers and employees to develop new skills through work-related learning.

In April 2017, the government launched ‘The Apprenticeship Levy’, which was designed to increase the quality and quantity of Apprenticeships in England. According to Business and Education government sources, in December 2018, only 32% of employers have started using their levy account to fund training and of these employers they have only used 14% of their levy pot in the first 18 months since May 2017.

5 reasons why your business needs an apprentice

  1. Improve your business productivity by adding value to your business
  2. Apprentices make loyal employees, allowing you to increase staff retention
  3. Hiring an apprentice is a cost-effective way of growing your team as part of their continued professional development
  4. You can upskill your current team to address skills shortages
  5. Continuously improve your workforce

Funding for Apprenticeships

From April 2017, government funding for apprenticeships has changed. The Apprenticeship Levy will be paid by large employers to build and maintain their workforce. The Government’s aspiration, is to improve the skills of the workforce by encouraging more people to undertake an apprenticeship. By 2020, the government wants to increase the number of apprenticeships to 3 million.

All employers with a payroll bill of over £3 million, on which there is a liability to pay secondary Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (NICs), will be required to pay the Apprenticeship Levy. There will be no exemptions. From April 2016 organisations will no longer be required to pay National Insurance contributions (NIC) for apprentices aged under 25.

8 top tips for businesses

1. What is ‘The Levy’?

If you’re a business with a payroll of over £3 million, you will have been paying 0.5% of your annual payroll into your Levy ‘pot’ since its introduction in April 2017.

2. How you can use the Levy

Since April 6 2017, your levy has been collected by HM Revenue and customs through your monthly PAYE. If you want to use your Levy, you can access your payments through an online digital service called The Apprenticeship Service (TAS). Your payments have been building up each month but will soon start being paid back to the government if you don’t spend it (see above).

3. What happens if you don’t use it

The money you have paid will expire 24 months after it enters your digital account unless you spend it on Apprenticeship training. If you don’t spend it, it goes into a wider pot for the government to redistribute.

You wouldn’t usually throw away money which could be used on something beneficial? So why do it with your levy payment?

4. What you can buy with funds in your apprenticeship service account

  • You can only use funds in your account to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment for apprentices
  • You can’t use funds in your account to pay for other costs associated with your apprentices (such as wages, statutory licences to practise, travel and subsidiary costs, work placement programmes or the setting up of an apprenticeship programme)

Remember, you can only use funding in your digital account for apprenticeship programmes and if you do not use it, you lose it.

5. Link apprenticeship training levy spend to your business strategy

In order to make the most of the training available, you need to understand what areas of your department would benefit from a skills boost. Ensure that the use of your levy fund links to your learning and development strategy or business strategy. Don’t just spend it to use it. It is your money and you should be getting a return on it.

You can use your levy to bring in new talent or to upskill your current team. You need to decide what your business or department would benefit from the most.

6. How to spend funds in your apprenticeship service account

To spend funds in your account, you need to Select the right training programme.

There are 2 different types of apprenticeships to choose from:

  • apprenticeship standards – each standard covers a specific occupation and sets out the core skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to do a certain job role; they are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’
  • apprenticeship frameworks – a series of work-related vocational and professional qualifications, with workplace- and classroom-based training. Frameworks will end July 2020, so training providers will be moving over to standards instead.
    Details of Totton College’s Apprenticeship programmes can be found here

Talk to your Employer Engagement Officer (contact details below) who will be able to advise which is the most appropriate Standard for you based on your organisation and individual learner needs.

7. Register your digital Apprenticeship account

If you are a levy-paying employer, you can create an account on the apprenticeship service to:

  • receive levy funds for you to spend on apprenticeships
  • manage your apprentices
  • pay your training provider
  • stop or pause payments to your training provider

Levy paying employers manage their Apprenticeships online through the Digital Apprenticeship Service (TAS), register today and start to unlock your Levy.

Select your chosen training provider to deliver your training. As Totton College is owned by Nacro, you will need to select ‘Nacro’ as your training provider to select Totton College.

8. Non-levy funding for SMEs

Support with apprenticeship costs

Non-levy paying employers will share the cost of training and assessing their apprentices with the government – this is called ‘co-investment’.
For new apprenticeship starts from 1 April 2019, this co-investment rate is changing. You will pay 5% towards the cost of apprenticeship training, and the government will pay the rest (95%), up to the funding band maximum.

All apprenticeships started before 1 April 2019, will continue at the current co-investment rate of 10% until completion.

Employer services from Totton College

Totton College offers a range of services that enable employers and employees to develop new skills through work-related learning. Our services include:

Business training needs analysis

As part of our commitment to smaller employers we offer a free training needs analysis to enable you to assess potential skills gaps in your company, and provide you with appropriate and cost-effective training solutions.

Professional development

We offer a variety of accredited courses and professional training for those who wish to upskill themselves in the workplace, or are looking to expand their career opportunities. These range from one-day courses to part-time training across an academic year, and include industry-relevant VRQs and diplomas.

Bespoke training

We develop bespoke training programmes to meet employers’ individual needs, and help you or your employees to gain new skills and qualifications. This includes industry-specific training for areas from the automotive industry to hair and beauty clients, as well as tailored courses in Photoshop, digital marketing and IT. These can be delivered onsite or at Totton College.

Discover more

See more about our employer services here.

Contact us

For more information about the levy and non-levy funding, or to learn more about our other services, contact us: