The Apprenticeship Levy: Making your budget go further

Apprenticeship Levy

How the apprenticeship levy should be playing a bigger part in your L&D strategy

If you’re working in L&D, responsible for a learning budget and part of a levy-paying organisation, you’ve probably spent the last 12 months becoming an expert on all matters apprenticeships!

No doubt you will have mastered the digital account, done your sums and convinced your organisation to get onboard with apprenticeships.

You may also have experienced some pressure to review your learning budget and reduce it because you now have access to an apprenticeship levy pot?

We know it doesn’t quite work that way, and that the ‘pot’ has restrictions of its own. But before you fall out with your finance colleagues, it’s worth remembering there are several ways you can be using the 2017 reforms to seek cost savings for your organisation.

Things to consider:

All apprentices below the age of 25 are exempt from employer NI costs whilst they are doing an apprenticeship. Your payroll colleagues will be able to advise how this works and what the savings equate to. If you’re savvy you could use this cost saving to reallocate into other non apprenticeship L&D initiatives.

Many degrees and MBAs can now be funded via the apprenticeship route. If your organisation typically funds these sorts of programmes for high achievers or senior leaders, they can take a big chunk of your budget and ROI can take years to materialise. Have a chat with your local university and see what’s on offer now or planned for the next couple of years.

ILM and CMI Management and Leadership programmes. Most levy paying organisations will have a history of delivering management development programmes of some description. ILM and CMI levels 3 and 5 are typical and popular for good reason. These accredited programmes provide robust, up to date content and thinking and provide managers with a well-rounded experience that meets the management requirements to boost performance and productivity.

By partnering with approved apprenticeship training providers, these programmes can be funded from your levy and when you have spent it all – you benefit from the government then paying 90% for all further programmes.

If you’d like to talk to us about how you can make the most of your L&D budget using the apprenticeship levy, then please get in touch with The Apprentice Academy today on 0161 200 1673 or email