The University of Oxford Apprenticeships Team continue to support local businesses and charities by transferring unused Apprenticeship levy funds that can be used on Apprenticeship training. This will provide huge opportunities for SMEs who do not have the necessary funds, by enabling them to recruit and train new employees or upskill existing members of their team. It is a fantastic way in which the University can support the local community and so far the Apprenticeships team has committed to transfer a total of over £500,000 of unused levy to many organisations.
Aspire Oxfordshire is an employment and housing charity and social enterprise, supporting people to rebuild their lives, futures and realise their potential, by providing person-centred employment, enterprise development, housing and support opportunities. In 2020-21, we engaged with over 2,000 people across our projects and programmes throughout Oxfordshire and the wider Thames Valley.
We asked Nikki Aitchison why the levy transfer was needed:
The levy fund is aimed to help support colleagues who are looking to progress within their career, through leadership apprenticeships. Due to the financial constraints of being a charity, we wouldn't have been able to offer accredited and supported apprenticeships for colleagues on this scale. This is a fantastic opportunity to help our hard working colleagues progress, with support to develop their leadership skills and help Aspire invest in its workforce.
What the transfer has meant to Aspire Oxford
The transfer has meant we can invest in colleagues, through offering accredited apprenticeships that will help individuals to grow, but also encourage more leadership within the sector and essentially improve our service to the people we work with.
What is the Apprenticeships Levy?
The UK Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017. The Levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in Apprenticeships. Employers in England who pay the Levy, which include the University, are able to access funding through a digital Apprenticeship service account which enables them to select and pay Government-approved training providers for Apprenticeship training. The levy is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer's pay bill.
Please note: the Apprenticeship levy can only be used to pay for the training of staff with an approved training provider.
How do transfers work?
Employers who pay the levy and have unused funds are able to support other employers who are looking to receive a transfer. From April 2019, these employers are able to transfer up to 25% of their annual funds. These funds can only be used to pay for training by a Government approved training provider.