A new survey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has revealed that with only six months to go until its introduction, more than a third of businesses have either not heard of the Apprenticeship Levy, or don’t understand its purpose.

The Levy is being introduced in April next year to create and fund 3 million new Apprenticeships by 2020.  If your company’s annual payroll exceeds £3m, you will be required to pay 0.5% of your salary costs towards the levy.

The BCC surveyed over 1600 businesses across the UK and found that 39% still had no understanding of the Levy or hadn’t heard of it.  It also discovered that only a quarter of the companies surveyed expect to recover all of their Levy payment – suggesting that most businesses regard the Levy as another tax.

Jayne Worthington, Managing Director of The Skills Company, one of the partners in the Apprenticeship Growth Service, said:  “It’s worrying that so many businesses are still in the dark about the Levy when we are so close to its introduction.  We are also hearing from some employers that they are prepared to write off their Levy contribution because they don’t normally recruit school or college leavers.

“We really need to get the message across that employers will be able to use levy funds to retrain workers in new skills, even if they have prior qualifications - as long as it is different from their previous qualifications.  It isn’t just for recruiting and training school or college leavers.  Many employers are now realising the benefits of growing their own talent, rather than relying solely on graduate recruitment.

“The Apprenticeship Growth Service provides an impartial gateway to all the help that companies will need for dealing with the Apprenticeship Levy.  We work with a tried and trusted panel of training providers which includes all 10 of the leading Further Education colleges in Greater Manchester.

“We can work with you to ensure that you get the best possible return on your Apprenticeship Levy investment, and that the Levy becomes an opportunity, not just another business cost.”

If you want to make sure that you're not in the dark about the Levy and its impact on your business, book a FREE consultation with our Apprenticeship Growth Service team today by contacting us on 0161 359 3405 or emailing recruitment@apprenticeshipgrowth.co.uk

As part of the Manchester Growth Company (MGC), a not-for-profit group of companies dedicated to enabling growth, creating jobs and improving lives across Greater Manchester and beyond, the Apprenticeship Growth Service is uniquely positioned to help you deliver business growth through people.

Visit our Apprenticeship Levy stand at the CIPD Annual Conference at Manchester Central on 9-10 November 2016.

You can find out more about the Apprenticeship Levy by visiting our website at www.apprenticeshipgrowth.co.uk, where you can also use our handy Apprenticeship Levy calculator to work out the financial impact of the levy on your business.