Apprenticeships are changing

  • Date Published: Thursday, 02 Mar 2017
  • Departments: Cross College,

Following a major Government reform, the way Apprenticeships are structured and funded is completely changing from April 2017. The Government is committed to delivering three million Apprenticeships by 2020 – that’s the equivalent of more than one apprentice starting every minute of every day over the next five years! From April, any company with a payroll of over £3million will have to pay a 0.5% levy via the HMRC. This will accrue as a digital voucher, and the only way for these businesses to get their money back is to spend it on apprentices, within a two year period. A levy calculator is available on the site -

For 97% of the businesses in Shropshire who will not be paying the levy, there will be a 15 month funding transition period. Currently, the government pay 50% of the funding value for 19 year old apprentices and older. From May, they will increase this to 90% meaning less contribution needed from the employer. And for businesses with less than 50 employees, there will be additional bonuses for recruiting 16 – 18 year olds. Shrewsbury College has established a dedicated department to help guide businesses and prospective apprentices through this period of change – Business Solutions. Tracey Linforth, the newly appointed Apprenticeship Manager brings numerous years of experience in training. Corinne Brown, the Business Development Manager has forged relationships with hundreds of county businesses advising them of the implications of these changes.

Apprenticeships are here to stay and the Government are clearly committed to raising the standard and status of apprentices,” said Corinne. “These changes will put employers firmly in the driving seat, including getting involved in the design of the training to ensure they are fit for purpose.

“To ensure the quality of the new style Apprenticeships they will include ‘independent end testing’ for the first time said Tracey.  “We are also gearing up to offer employers exactly what they want so that all their various job roles will be recognised as accurate and relevant.”

“The message is simple – if levy payers wish to get a return, they will have to ‘use it or lose it’. For the majority of employers, they will receive greater financial help. As for apprentices themselves, they can look forward to job specific training with lots of opportunities to progress in their chosen careers.  There has never been a better time to get an apprentice, or become one.”

For more information, please call Corinne Brown on 01743 260405 or email

An advice event is being held at Shrewsbury College on London Road, on 23 March from 5-7pm where you can find out more about all courses, including Apprenticeships.

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