How will an employer be able to access funding from the apprenticeship levy?

Employers that operate in England and that pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to access funding through a digital apprenticeship service account. Each employer will be able to register its own individual account, linked to its PAYE scheme.

The Government will pay funds into individual accounts on a monthly basis. The employer can use the money to pay for the training and assessment of apprentices in England. The Government will top up the amount paid into the account by 10% on a monthly basis.

The Government has said that it will use the home addresses of employees, from PAYE records, to work out what proportion of an employer's paybill relates to employees living in England. This will determine the amount that is paid into the employer's account. Separate arrangements for funding apprenticeships apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as this is a devolved matter.

The employer must spend the funds in its digital account within 24 months of them being paid in. Employers will be notified in advance when funds are due to expire.

The levy is expected to come into force on 6 April 2017 and the new system for apprenticeship funding in England is expected to operate from 1 May 2017. The Government published updated guidance for employers on 25 October 2016, on how the apprenticeship levy and the new funding system will work. It also published final details of its funding policy for England, including funding bands that will apply for existing apprenticeship frameworks and apprenticeship standards from 1 May 2017.