How to calculate the apprenticeship levy

If you’re keen to introduce apprenticeships or additional training to your business, the apprenticeship levy provides a valuable opportunity to do so. The levy is an amount paid every month from businesses with an annual wage bill of more than £3 million. The funds paid through the levy can then be offset against the cost of apprenticeship training.

You might be wondering exactly how you calculate your levy and how it is worked out. Your apprenticeship levy payment is 0.5% of your annual wage bill minus the government’s allowance of £15K. The funds that you receive into your digital account for spending on apprenticeships will equal your ‘levy payment’ plus the 10% top-up applied by the government.

Using the apprenticeship levy calculation formula

Your levy payment amount is calculated using this simple formula:


If your company has an annual wage bill of less than £3 million you will not have to pay the levy since a levy allowance for this wage bill bracket would be less than the £15,000 offset amount. For example:

LEVY RATE (0.5) X £2,000,000 = £10,000

£10,000 - (OFFSET) £15,000 = No levy payment

Apprenticeship levy calculation examples

Based on real-life cases, we’ve included some apprenticeship levy calculation examples below using our levy calculation formula.

Calculating the levy for large employers

For a large employer with a payroll bill of £200,000,000 their levy total would be: £200,000,000 x 0.5% - £15,000 allowance = £985,000

Calculating the levy for small employers

For a smaller employer with a payroll bill of £18,000,000 their levy total would be: £18,000,000 x 0.5% - £15,000 allowance = £75,000

Don't let your apprenticeship levy funds expire

It’s important to note that these funds expire (and default to the government) after 24 months, so it’s advisable to use them where you can. After all, the majority of these funds are made up of a tax your business has paid and set aside.

Answering your apprenticeship levy questions

We have many years of experience advising large and small businesses on what sort of funding they’re entitled to receive for apprenticeships (both levy paying and non-levy paying).

If you have any questions about calculating your apprenticeship levy amount, contact our friendly team who will be able to advise and answer any questions you may have. You can find out more on our apprenticeship levy page.

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Lifetime levy calculator forecasting tool

We’ve developed a bespoke tool to provide a detailed forecast of your levy spend over a five-year period. It considers incremental pay increases, learner fluctuations, and funding incentives to plot client levy usage over five years.

This insight is vital for ensuring a proper return on investment on your apprenticeship levy spend and is just one part of the expert service provided by Lifetime to support your success.

Get in touch with our expert team to find out how to get more from your levy investment.

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Want to optimise your levy? We work with our partners to create bespoke apprenticeship levy strategies.

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Before working with Lifetime, we weren't using our apprenticeship levy effectively and were limited in terms of training for our internal employees. By offering apprenticeships across the business, we're creating more opportunities and a clear path of progression for our people

Marie Fuller, Learning & Development Business Partner at DX