Welcome to article number 10 in our eighteen part series on the Apprenticeship Levy. Our goal with this series is to help employers make the most of the levy fund, including how to assess your eligibility, how to access the funds and where to spend them. In previous articles we’ve gone into some detail on how the levy works and how the funds are raised. We’ve discussed which businesses are required to contribute and how smaller businesses can gain funding to train both new and existing staff. In this post, we’re going to look at which courses are available through the Apprenticeship Levy so you can decide whether or not it might be a good fit for your business.

Choosing the right candidates to train

First of all, it’s worth reiterating that apprenticeships don’t necessarily have to be awarded to new apprentices. Apprenticeships are for everyone, not just college-leavers looking to start their career. If there’s anyone in your business who demonstrates a willingness to learn or be promoted, you’re welcome to enrol them on a course using the levy funds (provided your business can afford to be without them for a set amount of time each week so they can learn). Some apprenticeships can be taught ‘on the job’ with time allocated out of the working day for learning and development, whereas some will require a candidate to attend a particular class to learn interactively.

The reason this is important is because some businesses are intimidated by the levy because they think it means having to bring in new staff and expand their payroll. In truth, any existing employee can be eligible for training.

How courses are taught

At the time of writing there are almost 5,000 registered training organisations in the UK providing a multitude of courses. All of these organisation are vetted and moderated by the Government to ensure quality and consistency across the board. It’s important to make the distinction that not all organisations able to deliver training courses will also be able to run the end-point assessment necessary for your candidate to get their qualification. For that reason, the government has two databases - one that lists training organisations, and one that lists end-point assessors or examiners. Usually, employers will use the end-point register to choose a course provider and liaise with them directly to enrol candidates on the course.

What courses are available?

The sky really is the limit in terms of what’s available. Apprenticeship courses can be used to help candidates achieve everything from basic training to post-graduate qualifications including Masters and MBAs. The most common course types in 2019 are around business management, finance, engineering and construction, but there are courses available for virtually any field. If you’ve got an employee ready to take the step up to a management role, or want to offer someone a chance to get their Masters or pick up a new qualification through working with you, the Apprenticeship Levy is for you.


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