This is the 16th article in our 18 part series on the Apprenticeship Levy. In our previous piece, we talked about which providers you were able to spend the levy with and whether or not there were any limitations. In this piece, we’re looking at who you can spend the levy on. Are there any limitations to who you can enrol as an apprentice? Is there a greater incentive to choose one individual over another? Let’s review...

Debunking the age myth

There’s a common misconception among the workforce that apprenticeships are for school leavers or younger people who don’t feel like going to university (or don’t have the grades). This may have been the case in decades gone by, but the modern apprenticeship landscape is quite different. You can enrol anybody as an apprentice, regardless of their age or their current employment status. You can enrol someone in the later years of their career if you’re happy to skill them up and think they’ll benefit your organisation. You can bring in someone with many years of experience and put them on an apprenticeship to fast track them into a management role. You can even put your existing employees on an apprenticeship scheme to skill them up for a promotion. There really is no limit and no discrimination when it comes to who you can spend levy funds on. To the Government, an apprentice is an apprentice - someone who simply wants to work hard and gain new skills. 


Hiring young apprentices

The Government does still prioritise the hiring of young apprentices such as school and college leavers. The levy provides an additional financial incentive for businesses who are willing to take on young people. This is because some larger businesses prefer experienced staff and often see young employees as a risk. In order to help address this, and give school leavers more opportunities, the levy offers an extra £1,000 bonus funding for every 16-18 year old.


Internal funding

Some larger contributing businesses get frustrated by the levy because they don’t particularly want to grow their business or expand their payroll, so they worry the funds are going to sit idle in their online account. What many of these businesses don’t understand is that they can quite easily set their own employees on apprenticeship courses in order to skill them up and make them more productive and valuable. Courses cover just about any industry you can think of, from construction and accounting to business management and chemistry - and it’s very easy for someone in a mid-management position to go on a year long apprenticeship course and get the skills they need for a promotion. 

In summary, businesses can spend the Apprenticeship Levy on whoever they want, so long as they go through the official channels and use approved course providers. The levy provides a remarkable opportunity for businesses and individuals to mutually improve themselves and the economy.

About Ascento

Ascento learning and development specialise in providing workforce development apprenticeship programmes to both apprenticeship levy paying employers and non levy employers. We work closely with employers to identify the key areas for development and design  strategic solutions to tackle these with programmes that are tailored to each individual learner. With two schools of excellence focusing on Management and Digital Marketing we don’t deliver every qualification under the sun, but focus on what we know best and ensure that quality is at the heart of everything we do.

Oliver Simpson

Written by Oliver Simpson