24th November 2017

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Survey reveals Levy’s not taking off in schools

We conducted a survey around the Apprenticeship Levy to see how it’s impacted schools around England and it revealed a worrying response. 

Under the new funding arrangements, any business with a pay bill of more than £3m a year has to pay 0.5% of their payroll costs towards the levy.  That includes the public sector, charities and schools. The levy was introduced as part of the Government’s commitment to create three million apprenticeships by 2020, and was expected to raise £3bn annually across the country.  

The survey showed that the apprenticeship reforms, which include the introduction of the levy, have made it less likely that schools will take on apprentices. Only 22% of the schools who responded said that the reforms would make it more likely that they would recruit apprentices, while almost four in five schools said that they wouldn’t.  

Although over 85% of the schools are paying the levy, either as a stand-alone school, through their local authority, or as part of a multi-academy trust, less than one in five schools said that they had used levy funding to pay for any apprenticeship training in the last year. 

Lee Povah, Director at NST said: “The survey results tell a very disappointing story in terms of the response of schools to the apprenticeship reforms. It’s clear that the Government’s ambitions are not being realised in this important sector. Many of the people who responded felt that the levy was an additional cost on the school but they weren’t getting any benefit. 

“It was also clear that many school staff are still confused about how the levy operates, and how they can get the best return for their investment. At NST, we recognise that the system is complex, and it’s difficult for non-specialists to navigate. That’s why we offer a free levy management service for schools, where we get together with the key decision makers and explore how training can be used effectively to contribute to their business goals. NST is already working effectively with a number of local authorities and multi-academy trusts to administer and access their levy funds and we can use this experience to make the process even smoother and quicker for new schools looking to get on board. Once we've got to grips with a school’s goals, we can work with them to develop a tailored action plan to support their ambitions. 

“The Apprenticeship Levy is not going to go away, and schools with squeezed budgets really can’t afford to write it off as just an additional cost. They really need help to maximise the benefits that the levy funding can provide.” 

Getting started 

If you need help with managing your levy funds or want some advice on anything around the Apprenticeship Levy - don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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