Finding and training your future stars

The Apprenticeship Levy

Until recently the only levy, or perhaps levee, we talked about was the one we drove our chevy to, only to find that when we got there it was a bit dry. **

But now all the talk is about the new levy in town - the Apprenticeship Levy.

The government has pledged to create 3 million new Apprenticeships before May 2020 and the new levy is an absolute cornerstone to make sure that they achieve that promise. You see, large companies haven't been taking on Apprentices with quite the same gusto as small and medium sized companies have... and as it stands to reason that larger companies could employ more Apprentices, getting them involved would make it easier to achieve the 3 million target. Bingo!

From April 1st 2017 all companies with a payroll of over 3 million pounds will pay a new tax... a levy if you will... to help grow the Apprenticeship programme. Any company that employs around 125 people will be getting close to be becoming a levy-payer. This levy will be paid monthly alongside the normal Tax and NI payments that a company makes, but instead of it disappearing into a national pot, it will sit in a company's new digital account and can only be spent on Apprenticeships.

A company employing 500 people could easily find themselves paying an annual levy of around £50,000, adding over £4000 to their monthly costs, so not surprisingly the expectation is that they will want to see some benefits from that tax, and spend it on Apprenticeships.

A company can spend their levy on either employing and training new Apprentices, or on using the Apprenticeship programme to develop their existing members of staff. And those new or existing members of staff can be any age. However if a company employs a new Apprentice aged 16-18 years they will also receive a payment of one thousand pounds paid in a couple of instalments after 3 months and 12 months of employment.

Starting Off have been helping Northamptonshire's companies recruit and train new talent for over 25 years and currently manage the training programmes for around 240 local Apprentices.

If you would like us to establish whether you will be a levy-payer, guide you through the process to get registered and think about how best to use your levy contributions to benefit your business then get in touch and we would be delighted to chat through the options. Or we can send you a web link to the government's levy registration site and leave you to explore a bit.

**Don Maclean's "American Pie" if you're not old enough to know what on earth the opening sentence was referring to!