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Spend your levy before it’s lost

In other words, you need to use it or lose it! The apprenticeship levy applies to any business with an annual pay bill of over £3m. The levy is 0.5% of a company’s wage bill, which means up to £15000 is available for a range of different types of apprenticeships suitable for junior and entry level roles right through to senior management , and both new or existing staff. However, it has to be used by April 2019 as the initiative only runs for 24 months. Businesses that don’t reach the criteria of £3m in annual pay will be eligible for government funding for 90% of the cost of apprenticeships, meaning your business only has to cover 10%.

Free recruitment service

West Suffolk College will recruit your new apprentice saving your business time and recruitment costs. The Business Hub will advertise your vacancy and pre-screen the applicants for you; you will have the final selection of the shortlisted candidates. Your vacancy is advertised on the West Suffolk College website and the national government ‘find an apprenticeship’ website, plus, you have the option to advertise the vacancy as well.

Develop an apprentice to meet your company’s needs

Taking on an apprentice works better than taking on a graduate in many cases. A degree offers students knowledge, and invariably graduates gain a qualification but have no practical skills or real hands-on experience. Employers find that apprentices are quite impressionable, and happy to learn a business’s way of doing things rather than coming with pre-formed ideas which are less relevant. And by the end of the apprenticeship they have a qualification AND the experience to go straight into work.

Boost morale and staff retention

Employees who have been trained in-house tend to be highly motivated, committed to the company and supportive of its business objectives. An apprenticeship encourages employees to think of their job as a career and to stay with the company for longer, reducing staff turnover. Offering an apprenticeship to an existing member of staff shows that you see them as an integral part of the workforce and are happy to invest in their future. According to data from the National Apprenticeship Service, 92% of companies that have taken on apprentices believe this leads to a more motivated and satisfied workforce and 80% have seen a significant increase in employee retention.

Develop skills in your current workforce

With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy came changes to the criteria for becoming an apprentice. Those who wish to progress in their career or learn new skills through apprenticeship training no longer need to be aged between 16-24, meaning any of your existing staff can do an apprenticeship. It should also be emphasised that past qualifications or the location of an employee will not affect them when becoming an apprentice to develop their knowledge and experience. An employee’s jobs title or salary remains the same whilst undertaking an apprenticeship, but 20% of their time must be ‘off the job’ and used for studying towards their qualification.

If you would like more information on West Suffolk College’s apprenticeship programmes, or to discuss how you can spend your apprenticeship levy, contact us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01284 716 235

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01284 716 235


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