How apprenticeship funding works

Everything you need to know about apprenticeship funding. From small businesses accessing funding to larger employers who pay the apprenticeship levy.

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Wondering what apprenticeship funding option is right for you?

As an employer, you get to choose what apprenticeship training you want for your business and team members (and as an apprenticeship training provider, Intequal can help if you also need advice on the right programme!).

How you fund those apprenticeships depends on the size of your business and your total number of employees.

Apprenticeship funding for SMEs

You may have heard about the apprenticeship levy. However, if you’re an SME with an annual wage bill under £3m, you won't be paying into a levy. Instead, you can get help from the government to fund your company’s apprenticeship training.

The government’s support for SME apprenticeship funding is called co-investment. To put it simply, the government will pay 95% of apprenticeship costs – meaning you only contribute 5%. This covers the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment.

There are also additional government incentives to support your diverse talent pipeline. If you have less than 50 employees and take on an apprentice aged 16-18, or an apprentice aged 19-24 who’s previously been in care or who has an Education, Health and Care plan, the government will pay 100% of the apprenticeship training cost – meaning you can train and develop your tech talent for free.

Why tech SMEs should co-invest in apprenticeships

It’s no secret that businesses are facing a digital skills gap. Co-investing in digital and IT apprenticeships is a cost effective way for SMEs to tackle digital skills shortages and attract, upskill and retain tech talent.

There’re several benefits for tech SMEs who fund apprenticeships through co-investment - such as recruiting new talent, building a talent pipeline and receiving industry-leading technical training. And better yet, working with an experienced apprenticeship provider reduces the time you need to manage recruitment and training - for only 5% of the apprenticeship cost. Ready to chat about apprenticeships and funding for your business?
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Apprenticeship levy funding

If you’re a large employer with an annual staff wage bill of £3 million or more, you’ll be paying into an apprenticeship levy. Your levy is calculated at 0.5% of your wage bill and you receive an annual government allowance of £15,000. Your levy can be used for apprenticeship training and assessment in England and is accessible through a digital apprenticeship service account.

You don’t have to have a large levy to pay for an apprenticeship. If the cost of the programme is more than your what’s in your apprenticeship service account, the government will provide up to 95% of the remaining costs.

As a specialist digital and IT apprenticeship provider, Intequal can help you effectively use your apprenticeship levy to upskill your tech teams. Our services such as funding strategy, apprentice recruitment and talent pipeline planning are included in the cost of our apprenticeships. It’s all part of our commitment to helping you build the digital capabilities you need to stay ahead in the fast-moving tech sector.
Find out more about working with Intequal.

What’s the apprenticeship levy transfer?

SMEs don’t have an apprenticeship levy. However, SMEs can access government funding that covers 95% of the apprenticeship costs. They can also take part in the apprenticeship levy transfer.

If you’re a large employer in the tech industry, or simply want to help small businesses fund their apprenticeships, you can share your levy through the apprenticeship levy transfer.

An apprenticeship levy paying company can transfer their unused funds to another business. This can be up to 25% of their annual levy. These funds are advertised on an online government public platform, and businesses can apply for these funds on their digital apprenticeship service account.

This is another option for apprenticeship funding, and one that Intequal can support you to access.

Apprenticeship incentives for employers

Every employer, regardless of size, can enjoy these government incentives:
£1,000 payment for any employer taking on a 16-18 year old to support more young people into work
£1,000 payment for any employer taking on an apprentice aged 19-24 who has been in care or has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan
These government incentive payments can be spent on any costs associated with supporting your apprentice at work.

How we’ll help you with your apprenticeship funding

Creating a strategy to effectively use your funding

Setting up your digital apprenticeship service account

Applying for incentive payments

We’ll find a solution that’s right for your business

Our team are ready to answer any questions you may have. Contact us to discuss the right apprenticeship funding option for your business.
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