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Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are changing - find out more about the Levy

No matter how large or small your organisation, apprentices will provide you with the highly skilled employees and long-term prospects you need to develop your business.

There are lots of changes happening to apprenticeships in in response to the government’s plans to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020. This includes new government standards being brought in to match modern industrial demands, which more than 2,600 employers like you are involved in designing. As the biggest provider of apprenticeships in Bedfordshire and the surrounding area we can help you understand the changes to apprenticeships and guide you through the process.

What are the main changes?


  • Standards, designed by employers, will replace the existing frameworks.
  • An introduction of three new organisations: The Institute for Apprenticeships, Register of Apprenticeship Assessment Organisations and Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.
  • As of April 2017 an apprenticeship tax levy of 0.5% is in place, to be paid by employers with a wage bill in excess of £3 million per annum.
  • Non-levy paying employers (i.e. those whose wage bill is less than £3 million per annum) will be expected to pay a contribution to help fund their apprenticeship training. The government will pay 90% of the negotiated rate on condition of the employer paying 10%.
  • Employers will choose and pay for apprentices’ training and assessment through the online Apprenticeship Service (AS).
  • All apprenticeships will last a minimum of 12 months.
  • All apprenticeships will have an independent end-point assessment, to ensure the apprentice can do the job they have been trained to do.
  • As well as intermediate (level 2) and advanced (level 3) apprenticeships, there will be higher level apprenticeships (levels 4 to 7).

Moving from frameworks to standards

The current apprenticeship frameworks will be replaced by apprenticeship standards. These employer designed standards will focus on the outcome of an apprenticeship – what the apprentice can do when they finish their apprenticeship, i.e. ensure they can do the job they have been training for.

Standards will:

  • be job specific
  • be clear and concise
  • be written by employers
  • include an end-point assessment.

Any employer who takes on a 16-18 year old apprentice will receive a £1,000 incentive