University of Oxford supporting Aspire

The University of Oxford Apprenticeships Team have recently started to support small 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 over £500,000 of unused levy.


We recently started supporting Aspire by transferring unused Apprenticeship funds which they could use on training costs for their existing employee as well as for a new role which they have been able to introduce. We are really keen to support Aspire, particularly during this difficult time, as their work is so important and affects the whole community.


We asked Aspire to explain what this levy transfer meant to them as an organisation.

Aspire is an Employability and Housing charity based in Oxfordshire, each year we support around 2,000 individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to move forwards with their lives. As part of our work, we would like to develop our staff as part of supporting our beneficiaries. As a charity, University of Oxford have supported Aspire with Apprenticeship Levy transfer to enable new and existing members of staff to upskill and develop skills and knowledge. For the first time in our history, we have initiated a new role in an IT Apprenticeship through the Levy transfer, and our Communications Officer has embarked on a Digital Marketing course. 

It's a fantastic opportunity to begin embedding a more structured Apprenticeship offer to Aspire staff, which we were previously not able to offer on a broader scale due to lack of funding - Aspire


About Aspire

Established in 2001, Aspire has been tackling the most complex social issues in Oxfordshire for over 18 years. They support vulnerable local people into and towards employment and housing, as the most powerful way to break the complex cycles of homelessness, re-offending and poverty.

They began as a small charity supporting a limited number of homeless people in Oxford city into employment. 18 years on, they now work with over 2,000 local people across ten different client pathways and achieve outstanding social impact throughout Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. 

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.

Find out more about Apprenticeships