Levy Recovery

Recovering Your Apprenticeship Levy

At 0.5% of your pay bill, your contribution to the Apprenticeship Levy could be significant.  If you are an employer with a payroll of £3m or more you’ll be paying into the levy scheme. Our aim is to work with you to create and implement a structured apprenticeship plan that can recover the funds you have paid in and, if you require it, take advantage of 95% government co-funding.

Apprenticeships can be a huge benefit to any business but we appreciate you may not have the time to navigate your way through setting up apprenticeship training. The apprenticeship college will work with you to plan apprenticeships that deliver the additional skills needed for your staff that are both recoverable from your levy pot and create added value to your business.


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Our clients will recover in excess of £20 million from the Apprenticeship Levy this year.

The Basics

Every apprenticeship that we offer has a recovery value.  Depending on the specific apprenticeship standard you choose.  The rates are set by Government and will be subject to annual review. See our Level 5 Management Development course description for an example.

The simplest way to think about how to recover your levy is to work out how much you are paying in annually and then look up the values (and recommended durations) of the apprenticeships you want to use and calculate how much of your levy such a programme would recover.

We can help you quickly work this out.

Some Issues to Consider

Not all apprenticeships are the same. There are different durations – some can be completed in 13 months, others over 18 or 24 months, and in some cases (such as degree level apprenticeships) the duration is four years.  The recovery value is spread over the duration of the apprenticeships and, broadly speaking, is paid to your training provider in monthly instalments (there are some complexities here too – see below). For an example, see the  13 month Team Leadership apprenticeship.

With each of the apprenticeships that we plan with you we’ll optimise the duration of the training to take account the level of the apprenticeship, the characteristics of the staff that you wish to place in training (their job roles, previous experience, current skill set) and the ebb and flow of your business – taking account of peaks and troughs in resource needs.

Some of the details

There are a few more variables to consider. 20% of the recovery value is held back until your apprentice has undertaken the end point assessment (EPA). The EPA is a summative assessment process that normally requires the apprentice to make a formal presentation of their portfolio of work and answers questions set by an assessment panel. The final 20% of the levy value can only be paid to your training provider after your apprentices have completed their EPA.

Furthermore, if the apprenticeship includes mandatory qualifications these must be completed prior to the EPA. So there’s a real need to make sure that the teaching and learning is really well planned and delivered to ensure that the apprentice completes on time.

So from a planning point of view, a projected apprenticeship monthly recovery profile would be based on 80% of the total recovery value, divided by the number of months of the apprenticeship.

The Mechanics

To get the ball rolling you’ll need to have registered as a levy-paying employer and set up your Apprenticeship Service (AS) account. You can download a simple Step-by-Step Guide from our Resources Centre.

Then it’s a question of working with your training provider to plan your apprenticeship scheme and to profile monthly and annual recovery values. At the Apprenticeship College, our planning culminates in an Apprenticeship Blueprint that:

  • describes the skill set (s) that you want your staff to improve
  • agrees the apprenticeships to be delivered
  • states the number of employees to be enrolled on each course
  • identifies the durations of each apprenticeship
  • profiles monthly recovery values 
  • profiles projected recovery values on completions
  • presents a sample course content plan for each apprenticeships
  • provides sample teaching and learning plans

Our apprenticeship training uses a combination of masterclasses, immersive theatre-based learning, technical workshops, online learning and skills coaching. Learn more about our training model here.