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The Education and Skills Funding Agency Funding

In April 2017 the way the government funded apprenticeships in England changed.

All employers are now required to contribute to staff being nominated onto an apprenticeship. Based on the size of the company, will determine how much is contributed by the employer and how much the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will fund.


The apprenticeship levy requires those businesses with a pay bill of over £3 million each year to make investments in apprenticeships. However, with the right support, you can benefit from this investment by training your current employees, as well as any new staff, putting them all through an appropriate apprenticeship and making the levy valuable for you as long as their is significant new learning needed.

Levy payers 

The government apprenticeship levy is a form of taxation designed to help companies offer more apprenticeships and boost essential training and development of apprentices and staff. The Levy is paid by employers and stored in a fund accessible by that employer to fund the full cost of their staff apprenticeships. You are a Levy employer if you have a payroll of more than £3 million a year. The levy is charged at 0.5% of an employer's total payroll and is collected monthly through the PAYE. Levy employers can view and spend their levy contributions, on apprenticeships only, through their own digital account on the Digital Apprenticeship Service. 

  • After 24 months any unused levy funds expire and return to the government.

  • if levy funds are depleting 'co-investment' is available for levy employers where a 5% contribution is paid and the government will cover the outstanding 95%. 

  • Funds can be transferred to other companies through a 'pledge' or levy transfer, up to 25% of your apprenticeship levy can be transferred to another employer. 

Non-Levy payers 

For employers with a payroll less than £3million a year, will have to now make a contribution of 5% towards each apprenticeship.  There is a limited amount of apprenticeships that a non-levy employer can claim and reserve each year using the Digital Apprenticeship Service.  Once nominations of staff are made using the Digital Apprenticeship Service and they are inducted, Partnership Training Ltd will invoice the employer the 5% contribution to be paid within 30 days of invoice and saved as evidence for the government that the contribution has indeed been made.  Levy-paying organisations may transfer levy money to other organisations to assist in the funding of apprenticeships. They can move up to 25% of their annual levy pot. As a non-levy paying organisation, the full expense can be borne on your behalf, or if you require more than your allotted ten apprentices, a levy transfer can be arranged.

Workforce Development Funding

The Workforce Development Fund is available to employers in England and can go towards the costs of your employees completing qualifying courses subject to funding availability. 

  • Skills for Care will not fund all health and social care RQF qualifications so it is important to check the list of what will be funded before you commission any learning and development.

  • For all qualifications the evidence required to support claims will be a copy of the learner’s certificate, although for QCF qualifications this will still need to include the full unit breakdown. Unit summary sheets will not be accepted as evidence.

  • The 60 credit limit will no longer be in place, but will be replaced by a financial limit which allows the qualification with the highest funding value to be claimed for a learner within a single funding year.

For more information on what you can claim for, how to become eligible and how to claim go to:

Alternatively you can contact us

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