Government unveils new apprenticeship funding as new guidance issued

12 August 2016 -


CMI welcomes announcement that small businesses will receive increased support for training apprentices

Matt Scott

CMI has welcomed the news that government will pay 90% of training costs for small businesses under new guidance on the Apprenticeship Levy, released today.

The funding will cover the 98% of employers in England that are too small to pay the levy, with a total of £2.5bn of funding up to 2020 being used to support people of all ages to gain high-quality skills and experience and help employers to offer more training opportunities and build a skilled workforce.

CMI director of strategy Petra Wilton said the new funding meant small businesses were in prime position for taking on apprentices and giving their workforce a boost.

“Apprenticeships are a proven route for raising business productivity,” she said. “Leading employers are already adopting the new professional pathways such as the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. The generous levels of government co-investment announced today are welcomed by many employers, especially small businesses which now have a great incentive to take on apprentices.

“I strongly encourage employers to get involved and ensure that this extensive new offer fully meets their needs. As it can provide the much needed injection of confidence and certainty in the skills agenda, which is needed now more than ever.”

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said: “We need to make sure people of all ages and backgrounds have a chance to get on in life. Apprenticeships give young people - especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds - a ladder of ‎opportunity. That’s why we continue to work tirelessly to deliver the skills our country needs. The apprenticeship levy is absolutely crucial to this.

“Our businesses can only grow and compete on the world stage if they have the right people, with the right skills. The apprenticeship levy will help create millions of opportunities for individuals and employers. This will give our young people the chance they deserve in life and to build a highly skilled future workforce that the UK needs.”

Extra support – worth £2,000 per trainee – will also be available for employers and training providers that take on 16-18-year-old apprentices or young care leavers.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees will also have 100% of training costs paid for by government if they take on these apprentices.

This will help to ensure every young person, regardless of background or ability, has the chance to make their first step into work.

“These new trailblazer apprenticeships will help investment in home-grown talent; with additional support for 16-18 year-olds and the degree apprenticeships providing a new route to developing higher level, professional skills,” Wilton added. “Already we are seeing leading employers adopt the new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship and invest in professional management progression pathways from Level 3 through to degrees.

“I strongly encourage employers to get involved in this consultation and ensure that this extensive new offer fully meets their needs. As it can provide the much needed injection of confidence and certainty in the skills agenda, which is needed now more than ever.

“The time to act is now; employers must not stall decisions to invest in their staff. The current funding regime for trailblazers is very attractive with plenty of money in the pot up for grabs. Apprenticeships are a highly cost effective route for workforce training, but will require new relationships and a fresh approach.”

In June, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills gave the go-ahead for the new Level 3 and Level 5 management apprenticeships, which cover professional qualifications aimed at new team leader and operations manager roles.

These apprenticeships are now live and ready for employers to incorporate as part of their management development programmes.

The schemes were developed by a group of 30 employers led by Serco and Civil Service Learning, and supported by CMI. They add to the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, which was launched in November 2015, providing a progression route for employers to invest in managers at all levels.

Want to know more about how your business can get the most out of the Apprenticeship Levy? Join our webinar and find out how CMI can maximise the benefit from the funding available to your organisation

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