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Apprentices: Taxation

Question for Department for Education

UIN 57290, tabled on 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the flexibility in how employers can spend Apprenticeship Levy funds; and whether he has plans to reform existing restrictions.

Answered on

22 October 2021

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of our reforms supporting employers of all sizes to invest in high-quality apprenticeship training.

We are making apprenticeships more flexible so that they better meet the needs of employers in all sectors. We are encouraging greater use of innovative apprenticeship training models, such as the front-loading of off-the-job training so apprentices can be productive from day one in the workplace. We are also developing accelerated apprenticeships so that apprentices with substantial prior learning from other skills programmes, such as traineeships and T Levels, can achieve occupational competence more quickly.

In August, we launched a new £7 million flexi-job apprenticeship fund to support greater use of apprenticeships in sectors such as creative and construction, where flexible working practices are commonplace. Flexi-job apprenticeships will enable apprentices to move between different host employers in a sector or region as they complete the training requirements for their apprenticeship.

We are also making it easier for large employers to make full use of their levy funds by transferring them to support new starts in small businesses, or in a certain sector or region. In September, we launched a new online service to allow levy-paying employers to pledge funds for transfer, making it easier for large and small employers alike to make better use of transfers.

We currently have no plans to review the apprenticeship levy, including how employers’ levy funds are used. The levy was created to support the uptake and delivery of high-quality apprenticeships and has been set at a level to fund this employer demand. It funds apprenticeships for employers of all sizes, including for smaller employers who do not have their own levy funds to use.