Standards & Frameworks
Aspire to attract the best people
All UK employers with annual pay bills of more than £3 million now pay an apprenticeship levy. In England, you can have a digital levy account, but this isn’t available in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. If you operate across all four nations, you will pay a contribution based on your total number of UK employees.
As Apprenticeships policy is a devolved matter there are four different systems operating across the United Kingdom, although with many common themes. The levy will be paid by employers across the UK. So employers who operate across the devolved nations will pay their contribution based on their total number of UK employees.
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Employers with annual pay bills of more than £3 million have to pay an apprenticeship levy of 0.5%.
The government will pay 100% of training costs for small businesses that employ apprentices aged 16-18. Small businesses are defined as those employing up to 50 people, and with annual pay bills of less than £3 million.
Aspire apprentices in Wales receive Welsh Government funding for the full cost of off-the-job training on a wide range of approved apprenticeships, at a specified rate – with no upper age limit.
No matter where an apprentice lives, or where their employer is based, Welsh Government funding and priorities apply as long as the apprentice is working in Wales for at least 51% of their time.
Apprentices receive funding from Skills Development Scotland for the full cost of off-the-job training on a wide range of approved apprenticeships, at a specified rate. Businesses can employ any number of apprentices.
Apprentices receive funding from the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme and the Department for the Economy. This covers the full cost of off-the-job training on Level 2, 3, 4 and 5 apprenticeships.