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Apprentices: Taxation

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL371, tabled on 13 January 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to extend the 24-month period during which levy-paying training providers can spend Apprenticeship Levy funds.

Answered on

27 January 2020

The apprenticeship levy is paid by all UK employers with a pay bill in excess of £3 million. Levy-paying employers in England use an award-winning apprenticeship service to manage their funds, make payments to training providers, and transfer funds to other organisations.

Funds available to employers expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis after 24 months, where they have not been spent. We anticipated that levy-payers would use various amounts available to them, with only some spending all funds available to them. Individual levy-paying employers have full control over when and where apprenticeship funds are spent to meet their current and future skills needs, including by using transfers to support the sustainable development of skills in their supply chain or local area. Where employers are not spending funds available to them and the availability expires, the budget is used to support apprenticeships taken forward by other large and small employers.

When the levy was introduced, we responded to feedback from employers and representative bodies to increase the expiry period for these funds from 18 to 24 months, and currently have no plans to extend it further. In February 2019, we introduced a tool on the apprenticeship service to help employers estimate their funds and plan for expiry.