The apprenticeship levy comes into force on 6 April 2017 and the Department for Education and the Skills Funding Agency have encouraged large employers to register in advance for the online apprenticeship service.
The service is the platform through which payment of the apprenticeship levy will be managed, and includes a facility to estimate the required levy. The service also aims to help employers find apprenticeship training and to post details about current apprenticeship and traineeship vacancies.
Despite the apprenticeship levy becoming payable in less than two months, new research undertaken by City and Guilds has suggested that one-third of UK employers eligible to pay the levy remain unaware of its presence.
Under the scheme levy rules, UK employers with an annual pay bill of or over £3 million will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy at a rate equivalent to 0.5% of their payroll costs. All companies will be at liberty to claim money from the levy to subsidise the hire of apprentices.