The more we speak to employers about the Levy, the more we are beginning to see a pattern emerging around the sorts of information that they are requesting from us. This includes:

What is a Levy account?

You will pay your Apprenticeship Levy through the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). Your Levy account allows you to start, stop or amend Apprenticeship programmes, spend your levy funds and manage your apprentices.

How do I register my Levy account?

To register you must know the Government Gateway login details for your PAYE schemes, and Provider Reference Number (UKPRN), for the training you have chosen to undertake your apprenticeships with.  

The UKPRN for Eastleigh College is 10002143.

I've registered my Levy account. Why aren't the Apprenticeship programmes I've added showing on my account?

Once you’ve added your Apprenticeship programme and training provider to your account, the training provider (i.e. Eastleigh College) needs to authorise it. The programme won’t be active on your account until this has been done.

We recommend the employer adds the details of the apprentices to the account – this will speed up the process.

What happens if you don't spend all of your Levy funds within 24 months?

Essentially, the credit expires, and HMRC retain what you have not spent. This makes training planning essential. Our Experts would be happy to work with you to create a 24 month training plan to ensure that your funds are spent effectively and that your business is offered the best possible return on this mandatory investment.

How do I calculate my Levy pot?

You will pay 0.5% on a paybill amount over £3million. Therefore if your paybill is £3,000,500, your pot will be made up of 0.5% of £500, annually. The Government have also released a calculator which will allow you to work this out. Once you know how much you have to spend you will need to set up a digital account to view and manage this pot of money. A step-by-step guide of how to do this can be found in this Government video.

Can I put an existing member of staff through an Apprenticeship if they only work 16 hours per week?

Yes. If a new or existing employee works between 16 and 30 hours per week then they are still able to undertake an Apprenticeship, but the number of months that they will study over will need to be extended to allow them enough hours to complete the qualification. A contract of less than 16 hours would not be sufficient, and anything over 30 hours would be classed as full-time, and therefore would fall under the standard durations for the training.

20% of the Apprenticeship must be off-the-job. I can't afford my staff this time.

It is correct that a fifth of an apprentice's training must be off-the-job, in order to allow them the opportunity to embed new skills, not just be accredited for business as usual. There are however a number of ways that the College can help you cover this requirement without impacting on your staff's day to day role. Off-the-job training is also a well-established practice at the College, with a wealth of expert staff and industry-standard workshops to accommodate this side of the qualification already in place. This is something which other providers may take years to replicate.

How long do you study an Apprenticeship for?

The length of the Apprenticeship will vary, but each will be studied for a minimum of 372 days.

How will the Levy work with my existing Graduate programme?

The Apprenticeship Levy offers organisations a unique opportunity to look at the value being offered by their current training programmes and take a hard look at whether it is still fit for purpose. A lot of the employers we have spoken to have seen the value in moving existing graduate opportunities into Apprenticeships, to make the Levy a cost-neutral exercise to their business.

What can I use my Levy funds to buy?

Levy funds can only pay for Apprenticeships, no other training or bolt-ons to the courses may be covered. There are two types of Apprenticeships; frameworks and standards. Both can be paid for using your Levy funds.

Do I need to tell my staff that they are undertaking an Apprenticeship?

No. You can badge the training to your employee in any way you see fit. 

If the Apprenticeship does not start straight away, how can I ensure I spend all of my Levy funds?

Our Experts would be happy to work with you to put together a 24 month training plan to ensure that all of your funds are utilised effectively each year.

Who can undertake an Apprenticeship?

Anyone aged 16 or over, with the relevant existing skills for that programme, is able to undertake an Apprenticeship. This includes new recruits or existing members of staff.

In a recent change, from 1st May 2017, apprentices can now undertake an Apprenticeship at a lower level to the highest qualification that they already hold, if it means that they can acquire new skills. So, for example, if an individual had a degree (level 6) in French, they could undertake a level 5, higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management to gain new skills.

How much does an Apprenticeship cost?

The cost of each Apprenticeship is set by Government bandings which state an upper and lower limit that can be charged to the employer by the training provider. Therefore the cost of training will vary slightly between training providers depending on their level of expertise and the quality of the training that they will deliver.

Still have unanswered questions? Contact our Experts via or by calling 023 8091 1195.