Apprenticeship Levy FAQs

While there is lots of information about the apprenticeship levy available, you might have some questions you want answering quickly. We explore the apprenticeship levy in more detail in our guide.

Apprenticeship levy questions

Below, we answer common apprenticeship levy questions, from investing your funds, how best to use it and why the levy was introduced. If you have any other questions about spending your levy strategically, then don’t hesitate to contact us.

When did the apprenticeship levy start?

The apprenticeship levy came into effect on 6th April 2017. From this date, employers with an annual pay bill of at least £3 million started paying the levy at a rate of 0.5%. Anyone doing an apprenticeship before this date was utilising different funding.

Why was the apprenticeship levy introduced?

The apprenticeship levy was introduced to increase the number of apprentices in England, providing long-term funding for employers to take on new learners. The levy allows employers to put the spending back into their businesses and close skill gaps through apprenticeships.

Businesses also receive many benefits from the levy, including access to government funding.

What can I spend the apprenticeship levy on?

The levy can be used solely for training costs and End Point Assessments. It cannot be spent on:

  • Apprentice wages
  • Travel costs
  • Non-apprenticeship training or courses
  • Required licences

When using your apprenticeship levy for training and assessment you either need to use a training provider who is approved on the Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP) or become an approved Employer Provider on the RoATP. You can also gift your levy to another employer via a levy transfer.

What happens to expired apprenticeship levy funds?

You have 24 months to spend your apprenticeship levy. The levy is collected each month through your PAYE, with the oldest funds expiring first. All expired funds go back to the government.

If you’re struggling to make the most of your levy, then your training provider can help you maximise your funds. They can create a strategy that fully maximises your spend, and you get a real return on investment. Read more on maximising your apprenticeship levy.

Can the apprenticeship levy be used for existing staff?

Yes. You don’t have to hire new apprentices to utilise your levy. You can also upskill current employees, developing their skills while increasing retention rates. The levy can be used for training all employees, from entry-level to managers, no matter their age or skill level. Find out more about using the apprenticeship levy for existing employees.

How do I access my apprenticeship levy?

Your apprenticeship levy is accessed through your Digital Apprentice Service Account. From here, you can view and manage your funds, recruit apprentices, transfer your levy and more. Setting up an account can be complex, but your training provider will take you through the process step by step.

Lifetime - your apprenticeship training provider

Have more questions about the apprenticeship levy? Lifetime is here to help. Our experts work with our partners to maximise their levy, so they can experience the full benefits of apprenticeships. Get in touch with our expert team or visit our Knowledgehub for more information about apprenticeships.