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The levy is calculated at 0.5% of an employer’s annual wage bill over the £3million and will be taken monthly via PAYE. These levy payments are then translated in apprenticeship vouchers for employers to spend on apprenticeship training and include a 10% contribution from Government. 

The new system will put employers in control of who they buy their apprenticeship training from.

These reforms are for England only, if your company employs people who are based outside of England HMRC will calculate the value of an employer’s apprenticeship vouchers using the proportion of the pay bill paid to employees living in England. This proportion is available to view through the digital apprenticeship service.  E.G: Monthly levy payment: £1000

Percentage of pay bill paid to employees living in England (calculated from postcode data): 75%

= £1000 x 0.75 = £750 + 10% Government top-up (£75) Monthly voucher value = £825

In summary, it is calculated on what goes through an employer’s PAYE.

If you pay freelancers outside of PAYE (e.g. through invoices) this would not be included as part of your pay bill.

Apprenticeships are recognised formally by the Government and must be working to a published and approved Framework or Standard (which includes mandatory off-the-job training delivered by a training provider).  Apprentices by law must have a contract of employment and be paid the appropriate minimum wage rate.

Internships are time limited work opportunities which must be paid (exceptions apply).  There is no formal training or accreditation attached to an internship like there is with an apprenticeship.

Work placements are very short opportunities (usually no longer than two weeks) allowing somebody to gain some basic experience/understanding of a role and/or workplace.

In this instance an employer will not be required to pay the apprenticeship levy, but after the 1st April 2017 they will be required to pay 10% of the training costs for any apprenticeship.  

This 10% varies depending on the value of the specific apprenticeship (referred to as the funding band).  There are 15 funding bands for apprenticeships which start at £1500 rising to £27,000. 

It represents the total amount the Government is prepared to pay to cover the off-the-job training costs of an apprenticeship (including the levy voucher contribution) and End Point Assessment, which represents anywhere between 10% to 20% of the funding band.  Employers are free to pay above the band for additional training but would incur this cost directly.

Apprenticeship vouchers are what levy-paying employers will use to buy their apprenticeship training and cover the cost of End Point Assessment (so the apprentice can achieve their apprenticeship when ready).  

Each employer will have a digital Apprenticeship Service account, which will hold the value of an employer’s vouchers and allow them to select the training they want to buy.

Vouchers are paid into the employer’s account one month in arrears of the levy payment being made to HMRC via PAYE.  From the point at which the vouchers appear in the employer’s account they have two years to spend them, after which the Government will take them back.

When an employer selects the training they want to buy from an approved training provider listed in the digital Apprenticeship Service, payments will be taken monthly from the account and paid directly to selected training provider.

Unless it is a Government recognised apprenticeship it won’t be counted.  If it is, then you will pay via your digital account.

Non-levy payers are expected to have access to a digital Apprenticeship Service account from 2018.  Until then they can liaise directly with their chosen Training Provider(s) to purchase their apprenticeship training.


No. The levy helps cover the cost of training and End Point Assessment only.  The employer is still legally obligated to pay their apprentice the appropriate National Minimum Wage rate.

Details of National Minimum Wage rates can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

From April 2017 anyone over the age of 16 (having completed their GCSE year at school) can undertake an apprenticeship and can have their training costs covered.  For graduates and those with higher level training they can only undertake an apprenticeship and have their training funded if their apprenticeship is in a different subject to their degree or prior higher-level qualification(s).

Employers that take on a 16-18 year old apprentice or a 19-24 year old who was formerly in care, or who has an Education and Health Care Plan, will receive an additional £1000 incentive payment from the Government to help cover additional costs associated with employing individuals from these demographics.

Contact our dedicated funding experts (LINK to contact page/box).
The www.gov.uk website contains all current information about apprenticeships and the associated levy in England.

No. To the employer, an apprentice is an employee and must be contracted and treated as such. 

Yes, in line with their employer’s holiday policy.  Apprentices are subject to the same company policies and procedures as any other staff member, including benefits.

No, but employers are asked to create apprenticeships with the intention on keeping their apprentice(s) on once they complete.  This isn’t mandated but is deemed preferable.  It is advised that an employer’s intentions are made clear to the apprentice throughout so an apprentice can plan their progression accordingly. Notifying an apprentice that they will not continue in their role, only days or weeks before the apprenticeship ends, is considered poor practice.


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At Geason Training we offer a mix of courses which are NVQ based and include Supervisory and Management, Specialist Up-skilling Programmes and Apprenticeships. To review our course information Click here or call our Training Development Team on 0330 088 9596.

Geason Training have experienced experts who can help you decide which vocational qualification you should apply for. We will discuss the level with both you and your employer, looking at the level of duties you will carry out.

A formal apprenticeship must be recognised by Government and appear on the list of approved Apprenticeship Standards or Frameworks.  

A formal apprenticeship is a job that allows someone to gain certification in their field whilst working, and consists of three core elements: 

  • On the job learning (this is the job the apprentice has been employed to do)
  • Off the job learning (delivered by a registered apprenticeship training provider)
  • Functional skills in English and Maths (this only applies where an apprentice has not achieved GCSE English and Maths at an agreed level – this would typically be GCSE grade A* - C for a Level 3 apprenticeship)

An apprenticeship training scheme allows you to earn while you learn – and gain a work-based qualification at the same time. Apprenticeships are open to individuals who are 16 or over, including adults looking to retrain or gain a qualification in the industry in which they already work. The minimum wage for apprentices aged 16-18 is £3.50 per hour. The same applies if you’re 19 and over and in the first year of your apprenticeship, after that you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. However, many employers pay more than this.

Generally, businesses will work alongside a training provider (such as Geason Training), to support their apprentices training throughout the programme. Most apprenticeships have an external trainer assessor who will come and visit you at your work place. They are likely to set you work and observe you to see how you’re getting on in the workplace.

Apprentices in England must be contracted and paid for a minimum of 30 hours a week (including their off-the-job training) for at least a year and a day.  However, it usually takes between one and four years to complete an apprenticeship, depending on which level you start at. With some apprenticeships you can even get a degree.

Employers mainly look for punctuality, reliability and having a real interest in the job you’re applying for. Along with willingness to learn and being passionate in what you do.

Intermediate Apprenticeship (level 2 – equal to 5 GCSEs at grade 4/C)

Advanced Apprenticeship (level 3 – equal to 2 A levels)

Higher-Level Apprenticeship (level 4/5 – equal to a university level qualification)

Each level comes with its own qualification, as well as functional skills and technical certificates.

Your apprenticeship will be carefully structured to ensure it is as valuable as possible for you. It will be made up of four key elements: NVQs, functional skills, employment rights and responsibilities and personal learning and thinking skills.

NVQ: The NVQ is a nationally recognised qualification and training is completed on the job – meaning you’re able to put the skills you learn to the test.

Functional skills: These are essential to working in any job. You’ll develop your English and Maths skills so that you can communicate and use numbers effectively in the workplace.

Employment Rights & Responsibilities: Every apprentice must be able to demonstrate they understand areas such as employer and employee statutory rights, health and safety regulations and equality and diversity procedures.

 You’ll learn what is and is not acceptable behaviour, and what to do if your rights as an employee are breached.

Personal Learning & Thinking Skills: You’ll develop your creative thinking, reflective learning, team working and much more.

Apprenticeship Frameworks are made up of Knowledge and Competency units of study, delivered as either combined or separate qualifications.  Frameworks are written against National Occupational Standards, which inform the individual units of learning and associated criteria.  Apprentices working to a framework are assessed on a continuous basis throughout their apprenticeship, and once all criteria have been successfully passed can achieve their full apprenticeship certificate.

Apprenticeship Standards are developed by employer ‘trailblazer’ groups, who identify the core Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours of a unique occupation.  These Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours must be transferrable across, and relevant to, any employer that recruits for the occupation.

Apprenticeship Standards are on a higher level than Frameworks, written across a maximum of three sides of A4.  The Standard must be accompanied by an Assessment Plan, which the employer trailblazer group also writes to help determine how the core knowledge, skills and behaviours will be assessed at the end of the apprenticeship.

There are three main organisations involved in the delivery of new apprenticeships:

The Employer – responsible for creating and providing the job and issuing a contract of employment for the duration.  They pay the apprentice’s wages and select the training provider who will support the off-the-job training.

Geason Training – is responsible for providing a minimum of 20% off-the-job training to the apprentice. This training must not form a qualification, unless mandated in the apprenticeship standard. They will respond to employer need and therefore develop occupationally current and relevant training. 

The End Point Assessment Organisation – responsible for assessing the apprentice’s competence in line with the Assessment Plan.  They must be independent to Geason Training and Employer.

Assessment Organisations are responsible for recruiting occupationally competent assessors as per the conditions outlined in the Assessment Plan and must meet agreed External Quality Assurance requirements.

To obtain funding you must be in full time employment working 30 hours or more a week, and have a contract of employment. You must be 16 years of age or older, without a degree or equivalent qualification, and meet residency criteria.

You can begin at any time of the year, as mutually agreed with your employer. Your official first day as an apprentice will be on your first day of learning.

Browse our Courses and Vacancies section and apply online. Alternatively, you can email your CV to opportunities@geason.co.uk. Do not forget to include your date of birth and address for funding purposes. You should also attach short information about the specific type of qualifications you would like to achieve.

year established2005year established
number of clients602number of clients
apprentices on programmes1116apprentices on programmes
NVQ learners on programmes537NVQ learners on programmes
end-point-assessments completed355end-point-assessments completed

Any Questions?

For all enquiries, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help: