New opportunities for training accountancy apprentices
In last month's Budget the Chancellor emphasised the importance of the Apprenticeship Levy and training to boost productivity.
Apprenticeship funding is available to the majority of employers – whether they are paying the new Apprenticeship Levy or not.
Apprenticeships offer employers huge gains, enabling them to grow their team and increase productivity while minimising the financial risk associated with recruiting staff.
A new system for funding apprenticeships in England – the Apprenticeship Levy – will become active from 1 May 2017 (levy payments apply from April). All apprenticeships that commence after this date will be funded according to the new rules (this applies to both employers who are paying the levy and those who are not).
In its guidance, the government has stated that ‘if an employer has not paid the levy and would like to train an apprentice, they will need to co-invest 10% and will benefit from government funding to cover the remaining 90% of the cost. This will also apply to any levy-paying employer who wants to invest more in apprenticeship training than they hold in their digital account. In this case, if in any single month a levy-paying employer has insufficient funds available in their digital account to meet the full costs of training and assessment, they will need to co-invest 10% of the remaining balance, with the government paying the remainder. All employers will need to meet, in full, any costs above the funding band limit for any particular apprenticeship.’
The system will see digital accounts established for employers but co-investment in the first year will need to be paid directly to the provider rather than via a digital account.
The definition of workplace has also been clarified as ‘the physical place of work, designated by the employer, where the apprentice is expected to spend the majority of their time during their apprenticeship (50% or more) ... Employers will be required to confirm the workplace location as part of their written agreement with the main training provider in the evidence pack for each apprentice.’
ACCA has been heavily involved in the development of the new employer-led Trailblazer apprenticeship standard. We are excited to be among the first to train apprentices under the new ACCA Accounting Technician Apprenticeship (Level 4 Trailblazer) and have been accepted onto the Register of Apprenticeship Assessment Organisations.
If you are an employer in Wales or Scotland you will continue with the current access to apprenticeship training.