If you are a levy-paying employer, you can now create an account on the apprenticeship service and subsequently:
- receive levy funds for you to spend on apprenticeships
- manage your apprentices
- pay your training provider
- stop or pause payments to your training provider.
According to the rules that govern digital marketing apprenticeships, you can only use funds in your account to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment for apprentices that work at least 50% of the time in England, and only up to the funding band maximum for that apprenticeship.
If the costs of training and assessment go over the funding band maximum, you will need to pay the difference with other funds from your own budget.
If you are an employer who does not pay the apprenticeship levy you must also co-invest 10% of the cost of apprenticeship training. The government will pay the remaining 90% up to the funding band maximum. Where the funding band maximum is exceeded you must pay all the additional costs.
You and your main provider must agree a price for the total cost of each apprenticeship, including the training costs and any subcontracted training. The price for apprenticeship standards must include the cost of the end-point assessment which you must agree with the apprentice assessment organisation.
Note: you can’t use funds in your account to pay for other costs associated with your apprentices (such as wages, statutory licences to practise, travel and subsidiary costs, work placement programmes or the setting up of an apprenticeship programme).
Read the apprenticeship funding rules for full details of what you can and can’t pay for with funds from your apprenticeship service account.
Spending funds in your apprenticeship account
To spend funds in your account, you need to:
1) Choose a training provider
If you are working through an ATA (tmap is a registered ATA) to deliver your Digital Marketer apprenticeship scheme, we can help you recruit, employ, arrange training and organise independent assessment for your apprentices.
Alternatively, you can:
- use the ‘Find apprenticeship training’ service to select an approved apprenticeship training provider
- if you are using the Digital Marketer Standard, use the register of apprenticeship assessment organisations to select an approved assessment organisation.
If you’re a public sector body, you will need to follow Public Contracts Regulation 2015when selecting a training provider.
2) Agree a price and payment schedule
You and your training provider must agree a total price for each apprenticeship, which includes the costs of training and assessment.
For standards this must include the cost of the end-point assessment agreed with the apprentice assessment organisation. In the case of tmap, we work with independent assessors BCS to ensure training meets the framework and is of the highest standards.
3) Pay for training and assessment with funds through your apprenticeship service account
Once the apprenticeship training you’ve bought has started, monthly payments will be taken from your service account and sent to the provider.
You will see funds entering your account each month after you have declared the levy to HMRC, and funds leaving the account each month as you pay for training.
If you don’t have enough funds in your account to pay for training in a particular month, we will ask you to share the remaining cost of training and assessing your apprentices for that month with the government. We call this ‘co-investment’.
With ‘co-investment’, you will pay 10% of the outstanding balance for that month, and the government will pay the remaining 90% up to the funding band maximum. If your costs go over the maximum, then you must pay the difference out of your own budget.
Share funds with another employer
If you are in a group of companies paying the levy together, your group can collect their funds into a single account. Read more about how to register connected organisations.
From April 2018, we plan to allow levy-paying employers to transfer funds to another employer or apprenticeship training agency through the apprenticeship service. You will initially be able to transfer up to 10% of the annual value of funds entering your apprenticeship service account.
You’ll need to be aware of ‘state aid’ rules when transferring and receiving funds from other organisations. The maximum amount that an organisation can receive through a transfer of funds is €2 million over 3 years. This is because of ‘de minimis’ funding rules – see guidance on ‘de minimis’ support.
There will be more information about how transferring funds between organisations will work in practice in autumn 2017.
Top-ups and expiry of funds
The government will automatically add 10% to the funds in your apprenticeship service account. We will apply this 10% top-up monthly, at the same time the funds enter your account.
Funds that you don’t use will expire 24 months after they enter your account. Whenever a payment for training is taken from your account, the service always uses the funds that entered your account first. Your apprenticeship service account will let you know when funds are due to expire.