Apprenticeships – Employer Information

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Apprenticeships are an excellent way to support your organisation by harnessing new talent or helping to upskill your existing workforce. We offer apprenticeships in a number of different subjects allowing you to select the relevant training to meet your business needs. Your apprentice may be required to visit our Colchester, Braintree or Clacton campus or in some cases training and assessments can be carried out in the workplace. The information provided below is designed to help you to kick start the process of employing an apprentice, although our Apprenticeship Advisers are always on hand to answer any further questions you may have.

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Apprenticeships – What we can offer

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are expert at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our service we can support your business with:

  • Advertising the Apprenticeship vacancy
  • Manage the applications received in line with your individual requirements
  • Match prospective candidates already known to us
  • Conduct initial pre-screening for candidates
  • Carry out visits to your premises alongside regular reviews to support you, your staff and your apprentice
  • Advice on any grants or funding where available

Our team will provide:

  • A fee free recruitment service.
  • Personal 1:1 Apprenticeship Levy advice and guidance.
  • A dedicated Account Manager.
  • Industry experienced, professional, technical tutors.
  • Bespoke programmes available upon request.
  • An Essex priority skills focus.
  • Free employer events.

Apprenticeship Reform Events

  • By 2020 all apprenticeship frameworks will be replaced by standards
  • National funding rates are being replaced by ‘negotiated’ rates, with maximum rates set by the government for their contribution

What does this mean for employers?

The changes are intended to meet employer skills needs and increase employer demand. Employers will have far more control over the content and assessment (standards) of apprenticeships and the ability to negotiate fees for delivery and assessment. The Institute for Apprenticeships, a new independent body led by employers, will lie at the heart of ensuring the quality of apprenticeships in England.

New Apprenticeship Standards

Designed by employers for employers, the new standards are improving the quality of apprenticeships and providing the skills that employers need to ensure that apprenticeships support businesses to grow and prosper.

What is different about apprenticeship standards?

The employer-designed apprenticeship standards set out what an apprentice will be able to do on completion of their apprenticeship. All standards will include maths and English, where a current A-C grade has not yet been achieved. The new apprenticeships assess an apprentice through a rigorous end point assessment, designed by employers, which will ensure the apprentice really can do the job they’ve trained for before completing the training.

A government financial enhancement is available to employers who recruit a 16-18 year old apprentice. Our dedicated CI Business Solutions team will be able to help with further guidance.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is your chance to employ an individual committed to learning and developing their skills within your organisation.  Typically an apprentice will be expected to work full-time, with opportunities for learning away from the immediate pressures of the working role to develop new knowledge, skills and behaviours. The best part is that an apprentice is a contracted employee meaning you get a full resource whilst investing in your future workforce needs.

We suggest that you consider the following points when deciding whether an apprenticeship is best for your organisation:

  • Where is there a need for additional resources in your organisation?
  • Who will be the mentor of your apprentice?
  • Will you need to invest in any extra facilities to accommodate your apprentice?
What is expected of the employer?

What is expected of the employer?

When taking on an apprentice, there are certain expectations that must be met by the both the employer and the apprentice. As the employer, you are expected to:

  • Pay the minimum wage for an apprentice
  • Provide a full contract of employment for your apprentice
  • Offer the same benefits package to your apprentice as other employees
  • Arrange for a workplace mentor for your apprentice
  • Deliver a safe working environment
  • Ensure opportunities are made available to allow the learning of new skills and knowledge within the apprentice’s contracted working hours*
  • Ensure the apprentice is given opportunities within contracted working hours to develop maths and English skills, where a GCSE grade A-C (or higher) has not been previously attained
How is the Apprenticeship funded?
A National Minimum Wage for apprentices was introduced on 1 October 2010. The wage applies to all apprentices aged under 19; and apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their Apprenticeship.

As of May 1st 2018 the apprentice minimum wage is £3.70 per hour and applies to time working, plus time spent training that is part of the Apprenticeship. Employers are free to pay above the new wage and many do so, but employers must ensure that they are paying their apprentices at least the minimum wage.If an apprentice is on a higher wage, the employer must continue to pay that for the remainder of the training or until the apprentice becomes eligible for the full national minimum wage.

Full government funding is available for an apprentice aged between 16-18 years old and where the employer employs less than 50 employees. Full funding is also available for apprentices aged 19 to 24 who have either been in care or has an education health care plan.

An employer contribution fee will be required for:

  • Non-levy paying employers recruiting an apprentice aged 19 or over
  • Non-levy paying employers who employ more than 50 employees and recruit a 16-18 year old apprentice

Payment plans and schedules  can be discussed with our apprenticeship Account Managers prior to signing contracts. For more information about apprenticeship contribution fees please contact one of our Apprenticeship Advisers  on 01206 712432.

Finanical Information and Support

Government support

Employers are not required to pay National Insurance Contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 on earnings below the higher tax rate of £827 a week (£43,000 a year). From May 2017 the following incentives will also be available to employers who take on apprentices:

– £1,000 payment to both the employer and provider when they train a 16-18-year-old.
– £1,000 payment to both the employer and provider when they train a 19-24-year-old who has previously been in care or who has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan.
– Employers with fewer than 50 people working for them will be able to train 16-18-year-old apprentices without making a contribution towards the costs of training. The government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals.

The apprenticeship levy

The levy was introduced on 6 April 2017 and is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employers’ pay bill, paid through PAYE on a monthly basis.

Each employer has a levy allowance of £15,000, this is not a cash payment. It works in a similar way to the personal tax allowance and cannot be used to purchase apprenticeship training.

The impact of the allowance means that fewer than 1.3% of UK employers, those with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, are liable to pay the levy. Employers in England who pay the levy
will be able to get out more than they pay in, through a 10% top-up to their online accounts.

An employer’s pay bill is made up of the total amount of the employees’ earnings that are subject to Class 1 NationalInsurance contributions, such as:

– wages
– bonuses
– commissions
– pension contributions

What about non-levy paying employers?

Employers with a pay bill of less than £3 million a year will not need to pay the levy.

At least 90% of non-levy paying employers’ apprenticeship training and assessment costs in England will be paid for by the government. The government will ask these employers to make a 10% contribution to the cost, paid directly to the provider, and the government covers the rest. This cost will be spread over the lifetime of the apprenticeship.

The government is offering additional support to organisations with fewer than 50 employees* by paying 100% of training and assessment costs for their apprentices aged 16-18 and for those aged 19-24 formerly in care or with a local authority education, health and care plan.

The government will also pay employers, no matter what size, £1,000 for each 16-18 year old apprentice they employ.

How do I hire an apprentice?

We suggest that you consider the following points when deciding whether an apprenticeship is best for your organisation:

• Where is there a need for additional resource in your organisation?
• Who will be the mentor for your apprentice?
• Will you need to invest in any extra facilities to accommodate your apprentice?

1. Choose an apprenticeship
In order to help you identify which areas of your business would benefit most from hiring an Apprentice, a full list of the Apprenticeship frameworks offered by CI Business Solutions for each industry sector can be found here.
2. Contact us
Contact our Business Solutions Team on 01206 712128 or email business.solutions:@colchester.ac.uk to talk through your requirements. Through our free recruitment service, our team of experienced Apprenticeship Advisors will then assess your individual requirements and advise you of the best way to progress with hiring an apprentice.
3. Recruitment
Our Business Solutions team will work with you to recruit an Apprentice to your business, advertising the vacancy and managing applications, as well as providing a dedicated account manager and personal 1:1 advice and guidance on apprenticeships.




The apprenticeship levy

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 has changed the way that government funds apprenticeships in England. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3million are required to contribute to the apprenticeship levy.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year.
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships.
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

Speak to an advisor at CI Business Solutions on 01206 712727 to make your levy payments work for you.

As the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Essex, we can provide expert advice and guidance on all areas of apprenticeship provision, including helping you find the right apprenticeship for your business, recruiting apprentices, quality delivery and assessment with on-going support and advice.

The online system that employers will use to manage apprenticeship funds is now open for registration to all levy-paying companies. Click here for more information.

Since April 2017 the way that government funds apprenticeships in England has changed. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3 million are required to contribute to the apprenticeship levy monthly via HMRC.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships through providers who are registered on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

From April 2017 all existing apprenticeship frameworks and new apprenticeship standards (often referred to as trailblazer standards) will be allocated to Government funding bands.

Funding bands determine the maximum amount of money that Government will contribute for the training delivery and end-point assessment of each apprenticeship. All approved apprenticeship standards have already been allocated to funding bandings with maximum funding caps.

If you take on an apprentice who is between 16 and 18 years old at the start of their apprenticeship, you will receive a payment to help meet the extra costs of employing them. This will be paid to you through the training provider in two £500 instalments at 3 months and 12 months  if the apprentice continues in learning beyond this point.

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 10% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account. Where there are no longer funds in this digital account the Government will co-invest 90% of the funding with the levy paying employer being the asked to contribute the remaining 10% on a monthly basis.

Levy paying employers can estimate their funding contributions through the use of the free Funding Apprenticeship Systems calculating tool.

The agreed funds will be taken from the employer’s digital account to pay the training provider, up to a maximum amount of funding allocated by Government to that particular apprenticeship.

For non-levy paying employers the Digital Apprenticeship Service will not be available until at least 2018. They will need to discuss and agree a price with their training provider.

The apprenticeship levy – your questions answered

What is the apprenticeship levy?
  • All businesses operating in the UK will need to pay the apprenticeship levy if they are an employer with a pay bill of more than £3 million each year.
  • Employers will pay the levy on their entire pay bill at a rate of 0.5%. However, they will have a levy allowance to offset against this. The levy allowance is worth £15,000 for each tax year. This means employers will need to have an annual wage bill of more than £3 million before they are required to pay the levy.
  • Employers will pay the levy to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) through the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) process.
How is the apprenticeship levy calculated?

If you have a pay bill of more than £3 million, your payments will be based on 0.5% of your annual pay bill. This will be offset by a £15,000 allowance.

Example 1: an employer who would pay the levy

An employer with an annual pay bill of £5,000,000:

  • Levy sum: 0.5% x £5,000,000 = £25,000
  • Subtracting levy allowance: £25,000 – £15,000 = £10,000 annual levy payment

Example 2: an employer who would not have to pay the levy

An employer with an annual pay bill of £2,000,000:

  • Levy sum: 0.5% x £2,000,000 = £10,000
  • Subtracting levy allowance: £10,000 – £15,000 = £0 annual levy payment
  • As only payable on pay bills over £3 million (because 0.5% x £3 million = £15,000)
How does the £15,000 allowance work?

The levy allowance will operate on a monthly basis and will accumulate throughout the year.

For example:

  • You will have an allowance of £1,250 a month (£15,000 annually). Any unused allowance will be carried from one month to the next.
  • If you have multiple PAYE schemes and do not use the full £15,000 allowance, you will be able to offset the unused amount against another one of your schemes once the tax year has ended.
Government top-ups to the funds in your digital account
Government will apply a 10% top-up to the funds you have for spending on apprenticeship training in England.

  • Government will apply the top-up monthly, at the same time the funds enter your digital account.
  • For every £1 that enters your digital account to spend in England on apprenticeship training, you get £1.10.
How will I pay the levy?
You will calculate report and pay your levy to HMRC, through the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) process alongside tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs).
Digital apprenticeship service

From January 2017 you will be able to register to create your account on the Digital Apprenticeship Service. Levy payers will be able to use the full service from April 2017 to:

  • see the funds you have available to spend in England
  • set the price you’ve agreed with your training provider
  • pay for apprenticeship training and assessment through the digital apprenticeship service

Funds appear in your digital account monthly, a few working days after you have confirmed your pay bill and levy contribution to HRMC for the previous month. The first funds in your digital account will be late May 2017.

It’s expected that non-levy paying employers will be able to fully use the Digital Apprenticeship Service from 2018.

Employers who already pay into an existing industry levy scheme
Some sectors such as Construction already operate a levy through the CITB. If you already contribute to one of these, you will still be required to pay the apprenticeship levy.
How will the apprenticeship levy operate in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland?
Apprenticeships are a devolved policy, which means that authorities in each of the UK nations manage their own apprenticeship programmes, including how funding is spent on apprenticeship training.

Government plan to use data that they already hold about the home address of employees. They’ll use this data to work out what proportion of your pay bill is paid to employees living in England. Government are testing the accuracy and suitability of this approach and will provide more details in October 2016.

How long do I have to spend the funds in my digital account before they expire?
  • Levy funds will expire 24 months after they enter your digital account unless you spend them on apprenticeship training. This will also apply to any top-ups in your digital account.
What can I spend apprenticeship funding on?
Funds in your digital account, and funding provided by the Government through co-investment, can only be used towards the costs of apprenticeship training and end point assessment. This must be with an approved training provider and assessment organisation.
Is there support for employing 16 to 18-year-old apprentices?
A £1,000 incentive for employers  to help meet the extra costs of employing an apprentice comes into effect from May 1st 2017. All employers investing in a 16-18 year old will receive a £1,000 Government incentive through Colchester Institute. The apprentice must be in learning when the incentive payments are due at 3 months and 12 months. Two payments of £500 pounds will be made directly into the employers bank account.
What other support is available for employers?
To help meet extra costs, you will receive the same payment as you do when you recruit a 16 to 18 year old apprentice, if you recruit:

  • an apprentice who is between 19 and 24 years old and who has an Education and Health and Care Plan provided by the local authority
  • a 19 to 24-year-old who has been in the care of the local authority

If you recruit an apprentice with additional learning needs such as dyslexia, other learning difficulties or disabilities, the Skills Funding Agency will make a payment directly to Colchester Institute to help us with the extra costs of supporting the apprentice’s learning.

What if I use up all the funds in my account?
If you are a levy paying employer and spend your entire levy and 10% Government top-ups, Government will co-fund any additional apprenticeship funding. As the employer you will pay a percentage for additional apprenticeship training after your levy is used, and the Government will also contribute to this.
What are the rules for non levy paying employers?
If you do not pay the levy, you won’t need to use the digital apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until at least 2018.

  • When the new funding system begins in April 2017, as a non-levy paying employer you can choose the training you’d like your apprentices to receive, an approved training provider and an assessment organisation using the registers available on the digital apprenticeship service.
  • You will be required to make a contribution to the cost of this training and Government will pay the rest. The Government will ask you to pay this directly to the provider and you may be able to spread it over the life time of the apprenticeship.

How much will I have to pay towards training an apprentice?

For levy paying employers all funds for training will be transferred directly from your digital account to Colchester Institute on a monthly basis. This will continue for the agreed duration of the apprenticeship. Government funding band values can be found here.

For non-levy paying employers full government funding is available for an apprentice aged between 16-18 years old and where the employer employs less than 50 employees. Full funding is also available for apprentices aged 19 to 24 who have either been in care or has an education health care plan.

An employer contribution fee will be required for:

  • All non-levy paying employers recruiting an apprentice aged 19 or over
  • Non-levy paying employers who employ more than 50 employees and recruit a 16-18 year old apprentice

Contributions will be reflective of the apprenticeship framework/standard and can be discussed and agreed with Account Managers.

Our Address

CI Business Solutions,
Colchester Institute,
Sheepen Road,
Colchester,
Essex
CO3 3LL

Contact Details

Telephone 01206 712727
Fax 01206 563351
Email business.solutions@colchester.ac.uk

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Friday 08.15 – 16.30