Buying apprenticeship training
Once you decide to buy apprenticeship training through the digital apprenticeship service, the funds will be taken from your digital account each month to pay the training provider.
You can only spend funds in your digital account on training from a government-approved training provider - see the register of apprenticeship training organisations.
There are 2 different types of apprenticeship training you can choose from:
- apprenticeship standards - each standard covers a specific job role and sets out the core skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to be fully competent in their job role and meet the needs of employers, standards are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’
Public sector employers choosing a training provider and an assessment organisation
Public sector bodies will need to comply with Public Contracts Regulation 2015 when selecting a provider and an assessment organisation from the approved registers.
Once the apprenticeship training you’ve bought has started, monthly payments will be automatically taken from your digital account and sent to the provider.
You just need to have enough funds in your account to cover the monthly cost of each apprenticeship you have chosen. You will see funds entering your digital account each month as you pay the levy, and funds leaving the account each month as you pay for training.
You will be able to spread this contribution over the lifetime of the apprenticeship and agree a payment schedule with your provider.
Employers that don’t pay the levy
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 we ask you to start using the digital apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training, we will help you to prepare.
When the new funding system begins in May 2017, 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. Help with this is available from the National Apprenticeship Service.
We will ask you to make a 10% contribution to the cost of this training and government will pay the rest (90%), up to the maximum amount of government funding available for that apprenticeship. We will ask you to pay this directly to the provider and you will be able to spread it over the life time of the apprenticeship. As both you and the government make a payment, we call this ‘co-investment’.
Every individual apprenticeship framework and standard will be allocated to a funding band. The upper limit of the funding band will cap the maximum price that government will ‘co-invest’ towards. We will ask you to pay your contribution directly to the provider and you will be able to spread it over the lifetime of the apprenticeship and agree a payment schedule with the provider.
Buying training if you don’t have enough in your digital account – levy-paying employers
If you pay the levy, you may find that over the course of an apprenticeship the funds in your digital account aren’t enough to cover the full cost of the apprenticeship training and assessment you’d like to buy. This may be the case for employers who only pay a small amount of levy or have a variable pay bill and pay the levy in some months but not others.
If you don’t have enough in your account in a particular month, you will be asked to make a contribution to the extra cost of training and to pay this directly to the provider, rather than through your digital account. You will be able to spread this contribution over the lifetime of the apprenticeship and agree a payment schedule with your provider. We will provide some government support to help you meet these additional costs, up to the maximum amount of funding available for that apprenticeship. As both you and government make a payment, we call this ‘co-investment’. This will be set at the same co-investment rate as for employers who do not pay the levy, with government paying 90% towards the extra cost of training and assessment and employers paying the remaining 10%
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.
It can’t be used on other costs associated with your apprentices or wider training effort. For example wages, statutory licences to practise, travel and subsidiary costs, managerial costs, traineeships, work placement programmes or the costs of setting up an apprenticeship programme.