Starting in April 2017, employers will require to pay the Apprenticeship Levy at 0.5% of their annual wage bill. Each employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 per year to offset against the levy, meaning that in practice only employers with a wage bill of over £3million will pay the levy.
In Scotland, the system for distribution will differ from that to be established in England and Wales. The Scottish Government has announced that a Workforce Development Fund is to be established in the autumn of 2017, to which employers will be able to apply for funding to upskill or reskill their employees. The Workforce Development Fund is to be designed with employers’ input via the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and a working group is to be set up.
Therefore, it appears that the fund will not be restricted to funding for apprenticeships, although it remains a stated aim of the Scottish Government to deliver 30,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts per year by 2020. In England and Wales, a system of digital vouchers is to be utilised, and at present is to be restricted for use to fund apprenticeships only.