Chamber urges firms to be ready for apprenticeship changes

Thu, February 23rd, 2017

Chamber urges firms to be prepared for big changes to the apprenticeship system

 An apprentice can prove an invaluable asset to any business and the system for taking on apprentices will undergo a radical shake-up in a matter of weeks.

In April, the Government will introduce the Apprenticeship Levy which will require all UK businesses with an annual payroll of £3m or more to pay a 0.5% levy on their bill to help fund the apprenticeship system.

Now, Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce, one of the city region’s biggest suppliers of apprentices to businesses, is urging local firms to be aware of how the new set-up will affect them.

Major shake-up
Paul Cherpeau, the chamber’s director of learning and skills, has stressed that more than 98% of companies will not have to pay the levy, although the way apprenticeships are funded will be changing for all businesses with the majority required to contribute cash to recruit and train them.

He added that employers can still take on fully-funded apprentices under the current funding system until April 30.
“If you are a business looking to take on an apprentice – or train an existing employee on an apprenticeship qualification - before April 30 we can help you but you would need to contact us as soon as possible,” said Paul.

Allowance for all
Under the new system large levy-paying employers will be able to use their levy to ‘shop’ for apprenticeship qualifications via the new Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). These employers will be able to get out more than they pay into the levy – via an automatic 10% top-up to their account from the government.

Levy funds will expire 24 months after they have been credited to employers DAS account.

Those with pay bill of less than £3m will be expected to make a 10% contribution towards the cost of training and the Government will pay the rest.

Extra cash
The Government will pay £1,000 to employers if they train a 16-18 year old apprentice.

The Government will pay £1,000 to employers, and a further £1,000 to training providers if they train 19-24 year olds leaving care or who have a Local Authority Education and Healthcare plan.

Huge benefits
Paul added: “We currently have hundreds of apprentice learners placed with businesses across the Liverpool city region they can testify to the enormous benefits employing an apprentice can offer.

“You have the opportunity to mould them to make sure they fit perfectly into your organisation. We have clients who have taken on an apprentice as a teenager and seen them rise up into their management team.

“We are strongly urging all employers to take advantage of the fully funded opportunities before the introduction of the reforms and we look forward to working with companies to plan and deliver their training requirements.”

Liverpool Chamber Training specialises in the delivery of qualifications in business administration, management, customer service and marketing.

For information on the Apprenticeship Levy, or on the benefits of an apprentice, contact Paul Cherpeau at the chamber on 0151 227 1234 or visit

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