Streamlining the Apprenticeship Levy transfer process
techUK has long mantained that Apprenticeship Levy payers should be given greater flexibility to transfer funds down their ecosystems to support the digital transformation of their clients, partners, and communities.
In 2016, techUK recommended this very policy – that mechanisms should be put in place to allow levy-paying organisations to divert their levy funds for use within their supply or distribution chain. Our members have shared their views that this measure should go even further to enable them to fund skills development through their ecosystems.
techUK was glad to see our recommendation taken on board by Government, announcing in September 2021 that large businesses will be able to easily pledge funds to smaller businesses through a new government service, to help create and recruit for more apprenticeship opportunities.
An online service has been rolled out to make it easier for large employers that pay the Apprenticeship Levy to spend their levy funds. The new service will simplify the process for both employers looking to transfer funds and businesses wanting to access funding. Now, levy paying employers can advertise their funding pledges on a dedicated gov.uk page, enabling a much wider range of businesses to browse and apply for available funds.
Amazon is one of the employers who have used the online service - in June, Amazon also launched a £2.5 million Apprenticeship Fund to help small businesses across England upskill their workforces through levy transfers.
The Apprenticeship Levy is an important part of the changes to raise apprenticeship quality and supports techUK members to make a long-term and sustainable investment in skills and training. Reform of the levy is vital to ensure employers and learners continue to reap the rewards of apprenticeships.
Now is the time to institute a full review of the apprenticeship levy to ensure that it is working for tech businesses small and large.