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  5. What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

Are you interested in knowing what is the apprenticeship levy? 

This article will explain what the apprenticeship levy is, how it works, and why it matters.

What is the Apprenticeship Levy

What is the Apprenticeship Levy? 

The apprenticeship levy is a government initiative in the United Kingdom designed to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programs. In essence, it is a tax that certain employers pay to fund apprenticeships across various industries.

How Does it Work? 

Employers in the UK who have an annual pay bill of over £3 million are required to pay the apprenticeship levy. The pay bill includes the total amount of money they pay their employees each year, including wages, bonuses, and commissions. The levy is set at 0.5% of the employer’s pay bill.

The collected levy funds are then stored in a digital account, the Apprenticeship Service, which employers can access to invest in apprenticeship training. The government also contributes to this fund by adding a 10% top-up to the employer’s levy payments.

Why Was it Introduced? 

The apprenticeship levy was introduced to encourage more employers to offer apprenticeship opportunities and increase the number of apprenticeships available. The government believes that apprenticeships effectively bridge the gap between education and employment, providing individuals with valuable skills and experience while helping businesses grow and succeed.

Benefits of the Apprenticeship Levy

  • Increased job opportunities: The levy aims to create more apprenticeship positions, offering young people and adults the chance to gain practical skills and qualifications while earning a wage.
  • Tailored training programs: Employers can design apprenticeship programs that align with their specific industry needs, ensuring apprentices receive relevant training and experience.
  • Work-based learning: Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training and classroom-based learning, enabling individuals to develop practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge.
  • Career progression: Completing an apprenticeship can improve career prospects as apprentices gain valuable experience and qualifications that employers highly regard.
  • Employer benefits: Businesses that invest in apprenticeships can nurture a skilled workforce, enhance productivity, and reduce recruitment costs in the long run.

Using the Apprenticeship Levy

Employers can utilise the funds in their digital apprenticeship service account to cover the costs of training, assessment, and certification. They can also collaborate with approved training providers and assess the specific training requirements for their apprentices. The apprenticeship levy encourages employers to shape training programs to suit their business needs actively.


The UK’s apprenticeship levy is a government initiative that requires certain employers to invest in apprenticeships by paying a levy based on their annual pay bill. By supporting apprenticeship programs, the government aims to provide individuals with valuable skills and qualifications while meeting the demands of industries. The levy benefits both employers and apprentices, fostering career opportunities and enhancing workforce productivity. 

Updated on October 8, 2023

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