Apprenticeships: Making the most of the levy

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

Back in 2017, the Government implemented a significant shift in the way in which Apprenticeships were funded in the UK by introducing the Apprenticeship Levy.

Since then, Local Authorities, most Schools and Academies have been paying into the Levy but underutilising the funds which eventually leads to the money being reclaimed by the Government. Remember, even schools that do not pay the Levy can still access funds.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is an opportunity for both young and older people to gain a qualification while also working in a school environment.

Apprentice roles are full jobs and run for a minimum of 12 months, and an apprentice must also be given 20% of their time off for on the job training. This can include receiving mentoring, coaching, or attending formal training sessions.

How can I use an Apprentice?

This is where many schools have not made the most of the Levy. Apprenticeships can be used for a range of different positions including both teaching and support roles. A few of these include:

  • Post Graduate teaching Apprentice
  • Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship
  • Early Years Practitioner
  • Office Administrator Apprentice
  • Finance Apprentice

Apprenticeship funds can also be used for existing staff. This will allow your school to upskill your staff and help them access vital qualifications with minimal cost.

Any way you choose to use apprenticeship funds will increase the skills in your school and enable your staff to improve their capabilities and career choices as well. Remember – if you engage and appreciate you are committing to supporting their learning and training – which requires a genuine investment in time and money. Planning how to integrate apprentices into your staffing structure and use their skills will give the best outcome for you and the apprentice.

How do I recruit an Apprentice?

If your school is part of a larger employer (either a Trust or local authority) you will have to get in contact with your budget holder to agree to access the funds.

If your school does not pay the levy, you can still access funds to pay for 95% of the training costs. This makes apprenticeships a very effective way of either hiring new staff or upskilling existing employees.

To recruit an apprentice, you can access the Government website directly, or speak to a local course provider to support you in finding the perfect candidate.