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Cut your employee training costs with government-funded apprenticeships

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Is your business facing a training budget squeeze? You’re not alone. Figures from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development show the pandemic is forcing employers to do more with less. About a third of organisations polled in a recent survey have seen reduced training budgets and resources.

Training is having to adapt – and smart employers are finding new ways to upskill their workforce. Many are cutting training costs by using government-funded schemes, which includes apprenticeships. But how can they help your business?

What are government-funded training courses?

The government has set aside millions of pounds in funding and grants for adults with all different training needs. Some schemes are completely paid for by the government and others are part-funded. These include Advanced Learner Loans, the Adult Education Budget, and of course Apprenticeships.


You’re no doubt aware you can take on new recruits via government-funded apprenticeships. But did you know you can also upskill your existing employees? No matter how long they’ve been working at your company, everyone from junior members of staff to senior management can enrol as an apprentice. It’s a great way to fill skills gaps and boost productivity.

Today’s apprenticeships put an equal emphasis on skills and behaviours as well as technical knowledge. At the end of the apprenticeship, your employee will demonstrate their new skills in an End Point Assessment to prove their competence in the job role.

It’s an increasingly attractive option for employers. In a survey commissioned by the government, 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation. A further 78% said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity. And 74% of employers highlighted “improved quality of product or service”.

With so many advantages, it’s no wonder we at Kaplan see apprenticeships as the best government-funded option, and the only one we support as a training provider.

In my mind Apprenticeships are the best funding method because of the structure and opportunity around them. Apprenticeships ensure that not only is the knowledge learnt, but the apprentice has the opportunity to apply skills in the workplace, and show there is impact. There are other funding methods out there but none of them measure impact and progress in the same way. Apprenticeships are also available for everyone as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

- Matt Rawlins - Director of Sales and Account Management, Kaplan Financial

How to fund your apprentices – the Apprenticeship Levy

If your wage bill is more than £3m a year, you’re already paying the Apprenticeship Levy at a rate of 0.5% of your total payroll. This tax is collected by HMRC and held in a Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account – an online portal similar to online banking.

Employers can then direct the funds held in these accounts to approved training providers, like Kaplan, to pay for their apprenticeship training.

Bear in mind that your levy funds will expire 24 months after they enter your digital account – so it’s a case of ‘use it or lose it’.

Funding for non-levy paying employers

If your business doesn’t pay the Apprenticeship Levy, you will have the cost of apprenticeships partly funded by the government. You’ll pay 5% towards the cost of training an apprentice, and the government will pay the rest up to the funding band maximum. You’ll pay Kaplan, or another approved training provider, directly.

Employers can reserve funds for up to 10 apprenticeship starts. From 1 April 2022, the reservation levels will be reset to 0, enabling each employer who does not pay the Apprenticeship Levy to make up to 10 new reservations to fund new starts in the financial year 2021-22.

If you employ fewer than 50 employees, the government will pay 100% of the training costs up to the funding band maximum for apprentices aged 16 to 18, or for those aged 19 to 24 who meet certain eligibility requirements.

Why choose Kaplan as your apprenticeship training provider?

Kaplan has a wealth of experience in designing and delivering apprenticeships. We train more than 10,000 apprentices every year, and 75 of the FTSE 100 companies use us for training.

Our apprenticeship programmes can solve your training challenges in accountancy, financial services such as mortgages, pensions and investment banking, and in data and IT skills.

If your business is looking to beat the training budget crunch and take advantage of government-funded courses, Kaplan’s apprenticeships are a valuable resource.

To help you further, read about apprenticeship levy funding or the apprenticeship programmes we provide in Accountancy and Tax, Financial Services and Data and Technology.