And The Law Says

Training your way to a fitter bottom line

March 24, 2017

With the imminent introduction of the apprenticeship levy for the new tax year, there has been a renewed focus upon the use of apprenticeships within businesses.

All UK businesses are subject to the 0.5% levy, but a £15,000 annual allowance means that only businesses with an annual pay bill of more than £3m will be directly affected in financial terms. Whether you are affected by the levy or not, there are significant benefits to using apprentices within your business. For example, did you know:

  • There are no employer national insurance payments for apprentices under 25 years of age
  • The minimum wage for apprentices is less than the minimum wage for non-apprentices of the same age
  • Payments of £1,000 are made to employers for each apprentice aged 16 to 18 that are taken on
  • If you are a levy payer, then apprenticeship training can be paid for using your levy contributions and is topped up with a 10% government contribution
  • If you are not a levy payer (i.e. your annual pay bill is less than £3m), the government still contributes 90% of the training costs
  • Apprentices needn’t be young people and can be members of your existing workforce

Employers often fail to take up such opportunities as a result of a lack of clear, independent information and advice around the apprenticeship system. Approved apprenticeship standards now cover almost every specialism/industry and operate from entry level to post degree level, so there is almost certainly a good opportunity to use apprentices within your business.

At gunnercookeConsulting we have experts in workforce planning who have a background in the education and skills sector. They can simply give you a few pointers, or undertake a more formal review of your workforce strategy and the opportunities available to you. Please contact me at for further information or to arrange a no-obligation meeting.

For those of you unlucky enough to be subject to levy payments, gunnercookeConsulting have also developed a formal four step approach to ensuring that you are optimising the use of your levy contributions and have enjoyed particular success in identifying opportunities to offset existing costs against the levy cost, providing a significant financial return. Our recent webinar on how the apprenticeship levy affects large businesses can be found at the following link: CLICK HERE

David McIntyre is a partner at gunnercookeConsulting with a background in finance and business transformation. Prior to joining gunnercookeConsulting, David held senior executive and non-executive positions within the education and skills sector.

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