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Apprenticeships for Businesses

A proven way of creating a more effective workforce

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, leading to nationally recognised qualifications which can be used to train both new and existing employees.

They are a proven way of creating a more efficient and skilled workforce and make great business for employers of all sizes. By harnessing fresh new talent and addressing your skills gaps directly, you can ensure that your organisation has access to the practical skills and qualifications it needs now and for the future. In fact, over 136,000 workplaces throughout the UK offer Apprenticeships in over 80 different industries because they understand the benefits that apprentices can bring to their business.

Find out more about apprenticeships
The Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy is part of the Government’s plan to increase the amount and quality of Apprenticeships. Large employers (with a payroll of over £3million per annum, regardless of whether they already employ apprentices or not) across all industries are required to contribute to the new Apprenticeship Levy which in turn helps your business fund apprenticeships.


If you are an employer with fewer than 50 employees, you will not be required to contribute towards training costs for 16 – 18-year-old apprentices and you will receive a £1,000 payment to help with the cost of this. If you employ an apprentice who is 19 years old or over, you will be requested to pay 5% towards the cost of training. Employers with a payroll of less than £3million per annum and 50 or more employees will pay a 5% contribution towards the costs of training apprentices.


Employers who pay the Apprenticeship Levy will be able to allocate their Levy contributions as digital vouchers to use to train their apprentices. Employers will be allowed to spend their digital vouchers within a period of up to 18 — 24 months. All employers will also receive a 10% ​‘top-up’ payment.

As a major commitment to increasing both the quality and the quantity of apprenticeships in England, the reforms will also give employers the opportunity to add to and influence the new apprenticeship standards by developing their own standards to meet their precise organisational needs. These employers are known as Trailblazers.

Employers will not pay the first £15,000 of the Levy, which means that the Levy will only be payable by companies with payrolls in excess of £3 million per year

It will be payable by employers at the rate of 0.5% of the payroll cost through PAYE alongside Income Tax and National Insurance

Public sector organisations will also pay the Levy if their payroll meets the above criteria and in addition, 2.32% of their workforce must be apprentices

Calculate how much you will pay

To calculate how much Levy you will pay, follow these steps:

Work out your pay bill which is made up of the total amount of your employees’ earnings that are subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions. Employees’ earnings include any money they make from employment, such as wages, bonuses, commissions and pension contributions

Work out what 0.5% of your total pay bill is

Subtract the £15,000 allowance

Here’s an example:

An employer with an annual pay bill of £5,000,000 will need to spend £10,000 on the Levy:

levy sum: 0.5% x £5,000,000 = £25,000

subtracting Levy allowance: £25,000 — £15,000 = £10,000 annual levy payment

Our dedicated Apprenticeship Training Consultants are on hand to provide you with guidance and support to where you can spend your levy to bring in new talent to your business and upskill current members of your team.

Get in touch

To find out more about how Wiltshire College & University Centre can support you to recruit and train an apprentice for your business, please contact us:


Telephone: 0845 345 2235

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