Main navigation

Apprenticeship Levy – are you using it?

Apprenticeship Levy – are you using it?

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017 as part of the UK government’s plans to boost productivity and help close the skills gap affecting so many sectors. The government pledged to have 3 million apprenticeships start by 2020. A year after the Levy’s introduction, how are things looking for that pledge?

The Apprenticeship Levy was designed to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes. Only businesses with a pay bill in excess of £3 million are required to pay into the Levy, at the rate of 0.5% of their payroll bill, and for every £1 paid in, the government contributes 10p. In return, each employer then receives an annual allowance of £15,000 to provide apprenticeship opportunities to up-skill, cross train and, importantly, bring new workers into the labour market. Employers can access their funding online through the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS)

Figures released recently by Developing People Globally (DGP), a provider to the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), claims 63% of managers still haven’t heard of the Apprenticeship Levy, much less understand how to access funding for training. Small wonder then, the number of people beginning an apprenticeship between May and July in 2017 dropped by 60% compared with the same period in 2016. Recently, The Open University found organisations in England have accessed only £108 million of the £1.39 billion available in the Apprenticeship Fund.

The veterinary sector is growing, with many Practices feeling the pressure of understaffing, a situation that critically has a negative impact on staff morale and on the ability to provide patient care. If your Practice is part of an Apprenticeship Levy paying organisation, make sure you’re taking full advantage by offering apprenticeship opportunities!

For smaller practices, the lack of take up of the available funding by contributing businesses will have a beneficial result: any unused levy funds will be used to fund apprenticeship training. Practices offering apprenticeship places for people aged between 16 and 18 will receive a £1000 payment from the government. For businesses not paying the Levy but with 50 or more employees, a 10% contribution will have to be made towards the cost of apprenticeships. However, the remaining 90% will be government funded. Access to apprenticeship funding for non-levy paying Practices will start to be available this year.

For further information on the Apprenticeship Levy, how it works and how funding affects employers:

  • Pet Medic Recruitment is a leading recruiter for the veterinary industry and supplies staff nationwide, including part time, full time, Locum and permanent roles. For more information on any of our services or if you’re looking for a new opportunity, please get in touch with us at