People and culture Charity finance policy

Apprenticeship levy update - October 2016

This morning the Department for Education announced updates to their plans for reforming the apprenticeship system. Of particular interest to charities is the extension in the time that employers will be allowed to spend their levy, and the launch of the applications process for the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.

You can read the full announcement on the Parliament.Uk website.

24 months to spend your levy 

After consistent campaigning from CFG, the Government has decided to extend the amount of time employers can spend their levy from 18 months to 24 month. The account will work on a first-in, first-out basis, through either payment or expiry. Whenever a payment is taken from your digital account it will automatically use the funds that entered your account first. This will happen automatically and you will be informed when any funds are due to expire.

Transferring digital funds

The government has said that it is committed to introducing the ability for employers to transfer digital funds to other employers in their supply chains, sector or to Apprenticeship Training Agencies. DfE has invited CFG to be a part of a new employer group alongside the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses, British Chambers of Commerce, and EEF to help government develop this system so that it works for employers. Since the first set of levy guidance was published in April, CFG has firmly argued that charities should be able to transfer their funds to other charities. This is especially important given the lack of safeguards built into the levy system to ensure that any unspent levy funds from charities is ring fenced for the sector, rather than being redistributed to the private sector.  As it stands this system will not be in place until 2018 and existing guidance states that employers will only be able to transfer up to 10% of the annual value of funds entering their digital accounts. CFG will continue to push for this figure to be increased.

Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers

Some charities that will be required to pay the levy have expressed an interest in using their levy funds to train their apprentices in house and/or delivering training for external organisations. Charities wishing to do this from May 2017 will need to apply to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) by 5pm on 25th November 2016. Speaking to the DfE today, the plan is for the register to open 4 times a year for new applications. Therefore, if you are not ready now to join the register, you will have time to do so next year. Each provider will also need to reapply every 12 months if they want to maintain their registration.

 There are three application routes. The one you choose will depend on how you wish to operate as a provider of apprenticeship training and who you wish to deliver to. For those charities that are paying the levy you can apply through the Main route which enables you to deliver training to your own staff, your connected charity (as defined by HMRC) or any other organisations that will use a digital account to pay for apprenticeship training. Or you can use the Employer provider route which will also allow you to deliver training to your own staff or to your connect charities (as defined by HMRC) that are linked to your digital account. Details on how to join the register have been published online today. To apply you must register on the Bravo e-tendering portal. I am interested to hear if your organisation will be applying to join the register and what your experience of the process is - please contact me via

Paying the levy? Join our large charities special interest group

On Wednesday 7th December CFG will be hosting a meeting for our large charities focusing specifically on the Apprenticeship Levy. If you would like to join us please contact

This post was last reviewed on 27 February 2019 at 16:18
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