What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

In a drive to increase the number of apprentices in the UK to 3 million by 2020, the government is introducing a levy that will be coming into law in April 2017. Any company with a payroll that exceeds £3million is liable to pay 0.5% of the total.[i] All businesses will be able to draw on this fund to help pay for apprenticeships – and a recent survey has found that up to 59% of employers are now intending to recruit apprentices this year.[ii] Through making this a legal requirement, the government hopes to help get young people into the workforce in a productive and impactful way.

Altogether, this is a great initiative; and not just for young people, but businesses too. Here’s just some of the ways an apprenticeship scheme can deliver more for your organisation:


At the heart of business success is the ability to innovate: not just to keep adapting to changes in the working landscape, but to stay ahead of the curve. Apprentices are hugely valuable, not just as dedicated and – eventually – highly trained individuals, but also for the fresh ideas they can bring to an organisation. Getting young people into employment works for everyone; they are often more adept at using new technologies that can change the working world, and are constantly questioning systems and processes. Keeping fresh is something every business needs to do, and apprentices can help encourage this style of thinking.


When a company dedicates time and training efforts on an apprentice, the likelihood is that they will be incredibly committed to the role and will be more inclined to remain with the company for longer. Indeed, there is research suggesting that those who offer apprenticeships say apprentices stay in the business longer than other recruits.[iii]  Investing in good training for them will be rewarded with hard work and dedication – like anything, you get what you put in. The great thing about apprentices is that they are young and keen to prove themselves; provide good promotion incentives, and you’ll have committed workers with an abundance of experience remaining in your workforce for a long time.


As long as they are receiving the best training you can give them, offering apprenticeship schemes has the advantage of shaping young people from the get-go to fit into the company. Not only does this mean that they won’t pick up bad habits from previous roles, it also means that you can train them according to their strengths to ensure that they are working to the best of their ability. This is good for both parties; their strengths are encouraged and rewarded, while you have motivated workers enjoying work that they are particularly skilled at.

I am a very keen advocate for getting more apprenticeships into the workforce; they get paid for their qualifications, while companies benefit from loyal, dedicated workers who are trained specifically for the needs of the organisation. The Apprenticeship Levy coming in next month has the potential to be great thing for both young people and businesses alike.