Develop without spending a penny. Everything you need to know about the Apprenticeship Levy

Seamless access to funding to fuel your growth

The levy is a fantastic way to fund you or your businesses growth. For businesses this means you don't have to wait any longer for the HR or Finance green light, and your employees won't have to embark on a stressful, competitive process to be selected for incredible opportunities - everyone can learn with us.

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10 Key Facts

  • 1

    Businesses with an annual wage bill over £3m pay into an apprenticeship levy account.

  • 2

    The Government adds 10% to this account.

  • 3

    Over £1.2bn is raised each year through the levy.

  • 4

    If you don’t use your levy funds within two years, they are lost.

  • 5

    If your wage bill is under £3m you can access the programmes by paying just 5% of the cost of training.

  • 6

    If you use all funds in your account, you can still access programmes by paying 5% of the cost of training.

  • 7

    Apprentices can be any age and can be employed full or part time. They must be permanent members of staff.

  • 8

    Apprentices can be existing employees at all levels or newly employed staff.

  • 9

    Some of the most popular apprenticeships are in the areas of leadership and management.

  • 10

    Apprentices do not have one day a week out of your business for training. Training is built around their workflows.

General FAQs

How do I know that apprenticeship training is of the highest quality?

Organisations that provide apprenticeship training must be registered with the government's Approve Training Provider list. These providers are inspected by Ofsted, just like schools and are also audited by the Education Skills and Funding Agency to make ensure the levy is well spent. Apprenticeship providers must deliver a good service and good training to remain approved.

How does 'Off-the-job' training actually work?

Off the job training is deemed to be 20% of the Associate's time during work, and must be directly relevant to their apprenticeship standards and outside of their normal working duties. This might seem daunting, but includes activities such as shadowing, mentoring, online learning, lectures, industry visits and a plethora of others which are required to reach competence in the occupation.

Associate FAQs

What support is available throughout the course to help me pass?

You will have access to your own Professional Learning Mentor and a dedicated Senior Leadership Tutor throughout the programme. All Associates will also be provided with an online portfolio and Virtual Learning Environment. These will contain literature, videos and podcasts covering leadership and management theory.

I haven't done any formal learning for a long time, does that matter?

The average age of Associates on our programmes is 38 and so most haven't done any formal learning for a while. For this reason our Foundation Module is focussed on getting everyone back into a learning mindset.

Do I need to attend the training in person?

Each module will have face to face workshops that are delivered in various locations throughout England. However, there will also be a virtual option available for each module too in case you are unable attend each module in person. We want to be as flexible as possible for Associates to be able to take part in our courses so it can fit alongside your other commitments.

What qualifications do I need to take an apprenticeship?

This depends on the level of the apprenticeship you are interested in.

Associates for all programmes will need to show their GCSE certificates in English and Maths with a Grade C or will need to take an equivalency programme and exam.

For the NCLM’s Senior Leader Apprenticeship you will need a degree because this comes with a Masters.

We work hard to ensure everyone who can benefit from our programmes can join where possible so please get in touch so we can understand more about your qualifications and experience and how we can help you with your professional development.

Businesses FAQs

How can the NCLM help me spend my levy?

We can offer you a consultation call with one of our Leadership Consultants. This will take a look at your levy pot and also the needs of your organisation and make recommendations to meet your goals and requirements. Simply email hello@ncflm.org or book in a call with us to find out more.

How do I set up a Digital Apprenticeship Account?

This is easy and details can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-apprenticeship-funds

Can I use the apprenticeship levy to pay wages?

No, you can’t use the apprenticeship to pay wages, just the training. However the government is currently offering £3,000 to help with wages if you take on a new apprentice.

I don’t have a large enough wage bill, can I still use the apprenticeship levy?

Yes, you can access apprenticeship funding in two ways

  1. By asking a larger employer – in your supply chain perhaps – to transfer their levy funds to your account. Organisations like Lloyds and Tesco do this regularly.
  2. You can reserve up to 10 places on apprenticeship programmes and just pay 5% of the price of the apprenticeship – the government will pay the remaining 95%.

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