We are a government funded organisation and are on the government’s Register of Approved Training Providers; this means that we can provide our apprenticeship service to some employers at no charge.

The way in which apprenticeships are funded changed significantly in April 2017; large UK employers now pay a mandatory apprenticeship levy to HMRC through the PAYE system.

The headline figures

If you employ 49 staff or less and your annual paybill is less than £3M (unless you manage a hedge fund it probably should be!) the government will fund 100% of your apprentices training and assessment in England. Additionally, if you employ an apprentice who is under the age of 19 when they start their apprenticeship programme** you may also qualify for a £1,000 payment from the government paid to you through us, your training provider. So, £1,000 to you, and your apprentice trained and assessed by us free of charge. We also provide many other services to you free of charge if your apprentice is trained by us, including a full apprentice recruitment service.

If you employ more than 49 staff or operate in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, then you should read on (or call us).

The detail that you need to know

How does funding work and what will it all cost?

From April 6th 2017, U.K employers will pay a levy of 0.5 of 1% on every £1 over £3M on their annual pay bill. This will be paid to HMRC through the monthly PAYE returns and the levy is being collected to support apprentice training and assessment in all nations of the UK.

Currently (April 2017), only England has confirmed policy for the distribution of levy funds collected; employers in England will receive their levy contribution back 1 month after they have paid it with a 10% top up, this money can only be spent on apprentice training and assessment.

They want you to spend the money on training apprentices in your business, this is all they will allow you to spend it on.  Any levy that you do not spend will be taken off you by HMRC after 24 months so it is vital that you plan effectively to extract maximum value.

The legislatures of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are developing policy currently (April 2017) that will confirm how collected levy will be used within their borders, until then, current funding rules continue to apply in these nations.

Your finance or HR department will be able to confirm this for you or you can go to the below site and enter your relevant company details, this will provide you with a levy guideline figure:

If your payroll is likely to exceed the threshold at some point in the future, then the information provided here will help you to prepare. If it is unlikely that you will pay the levy, then you can go straight to this section.

You can only spend it on training and assessing apprentices against a government approved apprenticeship, working in partnership with a government approved Training Provider i.e. the Training Provider must be on the Register of Approved Training Providers.

Almost anyone*.

We tend to think of apprentices as young people, typically 16 years of age having just left school; anyone of any age, in any role can be an apprentice if they need to acquire skills and knowledge that they do not currently possess to be fully competent in their role. So, you can spend your levy upskilling your current staff and training and assessing newly recruited staff in the future; 16 year olds, 46 year olds, there is no limit. But remember, they must follow a government approved apprenticeship and you must work in partnership with a government approved Training Provider.

There are already approved apprenticeship Standards for familiar apprenticeship roles such as Service Technician but many more are also approved that may be of interest to your business; how about Team Leader / Supervisor at Level 3, Operations Departmental Manager at Level 5 or perhaps Digital Business Administrator or Host?

Go to this site to view a list of currently approved Apprenticeship Standards.

Note that Parts Advisor and Customer Service Advisor Apprenticeship Standards are currently in development (April 2017) and we expect these to be approved soon; ProVQ are on the Standards committee for these roles.

You use a government online account called the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) to manage your levy funds. DAS allows you to forecast your levy payments (over a period of up to 24 months), select approved training providers, manage your apprentice data and view payments, receipts and balances, just like a bank account.

Watch this YouTube clip to see how this will work.

You are free to select any approved training provider from the list on DAS but we (ProVQ Ltd) are working successfully with you in this area right now and have a very strong track record and reputation for quality.

The following apprenticeships are currently offered by us:

  • Service Technician (Standard approved)
  • Parts Advisor (Standard in development)
  • Land-based Service Engineering (LBSE) Technician and Service Engineer (Agricultural engineering)
  • Customer Service Advisor (Standard in development)
  • Leadership and Management at L3 and L5 (Standards approved)

To select ProVQ as your provider using DAS you will need to enter our UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) and this is:

Should need any help with any aspect of this process, please contact us and we’ll provide all the support you need.

If you are not a levy payer, then the government will share the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment with you; this is called co-funding. The government will pay 90% of the cost of training and assessment, leaving you just 10% to pay. If you are a levy payer and you spend all your levy, the government will co-fund the remaining costs of your apprentice training and assessment, paying 90%.

If you employ less than 49 staff, the government will pay 100% of your apprentice training and assessment costs. If your business is part of a group, then the number of staff is calculated at group level.
If you are likely to be both a levy payer and ‘co-funder’ of apprenticeships (because you pay a relatively small amount of levy and will spend it within 24 months), forecasting can become complex. This is a very useful tool to assist with your forecasting.

The government place all apprenticeships into price bands. The below costs are calculated on the maximum of price band 12 for a Service Technician apprentice, please contact us for pricing details for other apprenticeships.

Service Technician apprentice, the cost
For Service Technician apprentices starting** their programme after April 6th 2017, the cost of the 36-month programme is:

£18,000 per apprentice over the 3 years of the programme

The programme is 23 weeks in duration over 3 years, your apprentice attending training at the ProVQ National Automotive Training Centre in Shrewsbury approximately every 12 weeks for a 2-week training block. If you would like further information on the programme curriculum then please contact us directly.

This price includes all training at our fantastic training centre in Shrewsbury, registration and certification through the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) for the 2 Gateway assessments, F Gas (air conditioning) and the End-Point Assessment.

We provide the following services free of charge to you if your apprentices are trained by us:

  • Full apprentice recruitment service.
  • Personal visits to your business at least every 12 weeks by your ProVQ assessor to provide support to you and your apprentice.
  • Additional Learning Needs screening and support i.e. dyslexia and other learning barriers.
  • Support in administering apprentice block release accommodation at the International Hotel in Telford through an online booking facility. We have also negotiated on your behalf very favourable rates for this hotel.
  • Providing a seamless transition for newly qualified apprentices to CPD opportunities.
  • A full suite of safeguarding measures including British Values and Prevent.

Although anyone can be a funded apprentice, the government will pay to you the employer and to us the Training Provider an additional £1,000 each if your apprentice is under the age of 19 years when they start** their programme. This payment is made to us in 2 instalments – 3 months and 12 months after your apprentice starts** – and we pay to you your share at these points also (if your apprentice is still on programme at these points).

We will charge you 80% of the £18,000 divided across the first 36 months of the apprenticeship programme:

£400.00 per month

We will then charge you the balancing 20%, £3,600.00 to pay for your apprentices End-Point Assessment with the IMI. The government have introduced a rule that the final 20% must be retained until your apprentice is ready to complete the End-Point Assessment.

When you have spent all your levy the government will pay 90% of the cost of apprentice training and assessment for you, leaving you 10% to pay. If you are not a levy payer and employ more than 49 staff, the government will also pay 90% of all apprentice training and assessment costs for you.  This is how co-funding will look with a Service Technician apprentice:

Cost of apprenticeship training and assessment = £18,000 over 36 months.
You will pay £1,800 of this cost.
Payment schedule:
20% of the full £18,000 must be reserved for End-Point Assessment = £3,600
£18,000 minus £3,600 = £14,400
10% of £14,400 = £1,440
£1,440 divided by 36 months = £40.00 per month
Month 36 (typically) End-Point Assessment cost, 10% of £3,600 = £360.

We will provide further support to you and your apprentice to help them to meet the required standard at no additional charge (not including any travel and accommodation that may be necessary). When, through consultation, we agree that they are ready to try again, this will be arranged. The assessment must take place at the ProVQ National Automotive Training Centre and the IMI must be in attendance. As the competency of your apprentice is a joint responsibility between you, your apprentice and us as your Training Provider, we will cover 50% of the End-Point re-assessment cost.

No, the government are strictly controlling what your levy can be spent on and this is apprentice training and assessment only; you cannot use it to pay your apprentices wages, training accommodation or anything else that is not apprentice training or assessment.

The charges for accommodation for your apprentice when they attend training with us are £297.50 for a single occupancy room and £199.10 for shared occupancy (2 per room) per week (April 2017). This is for 4 nights accommodation per week, breakfast and evening meal. Your apprentice will be able to purchase a midday meal and other refreshments from the restaurant at our Training Centre. This charge also pays for a return coach service between the Hotel and the Training Centre for each training day.

If you have apprentices that have already started an apprenticeship programme, their training and assessment will continue to be funded the same way that it is now; these changes only affect apprentices that start** a new programme after April 6th 2017.

Some of your current apprentices will be on a Level 2 to Level 3 progression route (Service Technician programmes for example), this means that they first complete a Level 2 followed by a Level 3. The government defines the 2 levels as entirely separate apprenticeship programmes; if your apprentice progresses from Level 2 to Level 3 after April 6th 2017 they will be funded using the new system when they start** their Level 3 on the new Apprenticeship Standard.

The levy is a UK wide policy so employers in and across all nations of the UK will pay it. However, the new apprentice funding process is being launched in England only in April 2017; Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are yet to release information on how they will use the levy collected from employers. If you are a UK wide employer and a levy payer, this means that you will only receive back from HMRC the England proportion of your levy (plus the government 10% top up), you will not receive anything back for your Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland contribution. We await release of information from these administrations and will publish it here when we are clear.

Government funding is non-vatable. However, if you fall into the co-funding category you will be charged VAT on your 10% contribution.

We are continually developing new programmes to support you. Where appropriate we are aligning these to the new Apprenticeship Standards so these can be funded by your levy or by the government by up to 90% through co-funding.

Contact us and we will support you in any way we can.

*We will be able to advise you on funding eligibility.
** An apprentice starts their programme when all apprentice start forms are completed. This is often some weeks after you apprentice starts employment with you as formalised education must have started before funding can begin. We will advise you on start dates so you can factor this in against the date of birth of your apprentice.