Employer Forum 25th April 2017
Topic: Apprenticeship Levy
Thank you for joining us for our Employer forum
We are Pyramid Training and we are based in Blackpool but cover the North West, North East and Yorkshire.
There has been a lot of talk about the new Apprenticeship levy but this has mainly been for levy paying Employers i.e. those Employers whose wage bill is in excess of £3m per annum.
So, what does that mean for the rest of us?
Non-levy paying employers will share the cost of training and assessing their apprentices with government – this is called ‘co-investment’.
From May 2017, you will pay 10% towards to the cost of apprenticeship training and government will pay the rest (90%), up to the funding band maximum.
Apprenticeship training has always been seen as free funding in the UK, this isn’t strictly true. Employers have always been expected to pay half the funding (apart from 16-18 year olds) It has not cost employers anything outright although funding has come from tax and national insurance contributions, and quite a lot from the European Social Fund.
Sometimes this has been paid instead through ‘kind’ by the employer, this cannot happen anymore. Employers will also be expected to contribute time and provide a ‘mentor’ of some description to support the learners in their workplace and liaise with the training provider. This will need to be thought out and factored in by the employer when considering taking on an apprentice.
The Government are quite rightly determined to ensure that all apprentices across the UK will be trained to a high standard and this means they will need the support and guidance from the employers just as much as from the training provider. The Government want 3 million quality apprentices by 2020.
All employers will need to register with the ESFA with regard to their allocated funding.
Information on the digital service and more about the levy can be found at:
The actual apprenticeships will be made up of standards and of qualifications (in most cases) along with the ERR and any functional skills that they may need. All learners (apprentices) will be encouraged to upskill throughout their training, so for example, if a learner completes a level 1 functional skill successfully they will be offered the level 2.
Towards the end of their learner journey the apprentice will have to go through an ‘end point assessment’. This makes up part of their overall mark towards their training. This will consist of a professional discussion; an assessment of the learners work overall and also a multiple choice question paper. This is nothing for them to be worried about but it is something that they will need to be prepared for.
From 1st May any Employer wishing to take on an Apprentice will be liable for 10% of their training costs. This will be spread out over the duration of the qualification as a standing order but will be enforced by HMRC.
Unfortunately, there are still various issues which have not yet been decided by the Government but we wanted to share as much information as possible with our employers before 1st May, which is why we have held this event now.
Some changes that we can confirm are:
Are there any exceptions to the contribution?
Yes 16-18 year old Apprentices will not qualify for the 10% plus there is an incentive of £1000 per apprentice.
Will my training provider be able to do a deal with me?
No, HMRC are monitoring this very closely and any training provider who cannot prove they have received the 10% from the Employer will be subjected to a heavy fine, as will the Employer.
How much does the training cost?
Every Apprenticeship varies, there are fifteen funding bands from £1500 – £27,000 luckily for our Employers our Childcare and Management qualifications are at the lower end of the band scale, for instance a level 3 EYE costs £2500 so the cost to the Employer will be £250 which works out at £16.67 per calendar month.
Will functional skills be funded?
Yes if they are part of the framework.
What will I receive for my money?
Pyramid Training is committed to delivering an excellent standard of qualification for all learners, in addition to this our fully funded CPD packages are available for every learner near or far and this equates to £600 worth of free extra funding. The learner will have a dedicated assessor and IQA (internal quality assurer) and are welcome to use our centre for study anytime Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. We have plenty of resources including textbooks, journals and articles and also free wifi across our centre. For learners who are not local and cannot get to the centre easily they will have access to lots of resources including videos whenever possible for training. We have a website and utilise social media where possible. We also invite all our employers to their own forum annually (or more often if required) and have an annual summer graduation/celebration for all our achieving learners that academic year.
Can I reclaim the training money from my employee?
The 10% is payable from the employer there is no cost to the learner. However, it is entirely up to the employers if they want to negotiate with their staff as part of a training contract/agreement. Some form of training agreement is always a good idea for an employer to consider with their employees anyway. This might also be a good way for learners to opt in and therefore have more of a commitment to complete.
NB: This would be between the employer and the employee and Pyramid Training would have nothing to do with this.
How will the Levy be collected if we are paying the 10%?
This can be paid in full upfront or by direct debit that must be set up before the learner begins their training.
What happens to current learners, will they be affected?
No they will not.
Do we have a contract with the training provider?
Yes, you will have an apprenticeship agreement and also an employer agreement as has always been the case.
What is the end point assessment?
This is the final stage of the learners training. A separate company (possibly an awarding body) will be contracted by Pyramid Training to complete this assessment. The learners need this to finish their framework. This cost is part of the overall funding for the apprenticeship and will not incur the employer any further costs.
How much time will the learner be expected to ‘study’?
The apprentices are to have 20% of ‘off the job’ time within their normal working week to study. This could include coming to a classroom session at our centre, but only if it falls within their normal working hours. The apprentice can report their employer to the SFA if they do not feel they are being supported. This is something that the SFA are going to be keeping a watchful eye on as they want to stop the practice of employing apprentices for ‘cheap labour’. We currently deliver workshops in the evening due to employer and learner demand, however we will be able to offer daytime sessions instead if this is something our employers want. This would therefore help meet this 20% ruling of ‘off the job’ training.
More information about the criteria and requirements can be found at: