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Apprenticeship Levy

Who is likely to be affected

This will affect employers in all sectors. The levy will only be paid on annual paybills in excess of £3 million, and so less than 2% of UK employers will pay it.

General description of the measure

The Apprenticeship Levy will be a levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships. In England, control of apprenticeship funding will be put in the hands of employers through the Digital Apprenticeship Service. The levy will be charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s paybill. Each employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. It will be introduced in April 2017.

Policy objective

The government is committed to boosting productivity by investing in human capital. As part of this, the government is committed to developing vocational skills, and to increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships. It has committed to an additional 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020. The levy will help to deliver new apprenticeships and it will support quality training by putting employers at the centre of the system. Employers who are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in by training sufficient numbers of apprentices.

Background to the measure

The Apprenticeship Levy was announced at Summer Budget 2015, and at Autumn Statement 2015 it was announced that it would come into effect in April 2017. A consultation was held between 21 August 2015 and 2 October 2015 to hear from employers how the levy should work in practice. At Autumn Statement 2014 the government announced it would abolish employer Class 1 National Insurance Contributions for apprentices aged under 25 on earnings up to the weekly limit of £827 from 2016 to 2017.