The new financial year in 2017 (starting April 2017) sees the introduction of the government's new Apprenticeships Levy. The new Levy is being introduced at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s wages bill and will be collected through pay-as-you-earn.
But the Levy will not apply to a lot of companies in the stone sector because it only kicks in when the wages bill exceeds £3million. All employers in England, Scotland and Wales with a wage bill over that level will pay the Levy.
Employers in England will be able to reclaim their contributions through a new digital voucher system, which can be used to pay for apprenticeship training. If employers do not use the funds, Government will make the money available to other employers who do train, in the same way as the current Levy is distributed among those who train.
Although smaller firms will not have to pay the Levy, it is not yet clear whether vouchers could be passed on by larger employers to smaller firms. In fact, the Government has not made it clear what the funding arrangements will be for helping smaller firms with apprentice training costs, says Ian Major, the Manager of StoneTrain, the training arm of Stone Federation Great Britain.