Apprenticeships for larger businesses | Weston College

Apprenticeships for larger businesses

If your business’ annual payroll is over £3 million per year, you should already know about the apprenticeship levy which came into force in 2017. If not, click here to find out more about it.

At Weston College, our dedicated Levy Solution Service is already working with some of the region’s largest businesses to help them maximise the levy’s potential benefits when it comes to training their workforces.

If you’re new to apprenticeships and are looking to take on your first apprentice, click here.

This is why companies are moving their apprenticeship training to Weston College:

Our range of courses. We offer apprenticeships across 50 apprenticeship frameworks and standards to suit your business from intermediate to degree-level, which means there are plenty of training options to choose from.

Our reputation. Weston College is one of the top colleges in the country. We’ve won many awards which include College of the Year and Overall Training Provider of the Year. We’re rated outstanding by Ofsted, and we’re officially the top-performing college in the West of England. This means that when you choose Weston, you’re choosing a well-established and proven training provider. We are ISO27001 accredited, meaning that you can have confidence in our information security management systems.

Our experience. We work with 2,500 businesses and organisations, from local employers to international companies, which means we have the right experience to help you expand or upskill your current workforce through apprenticeships.

Our success rates. 97% of the employers we provide apprentices for say that they are satisfied with their apprentice and our support, and as a result 90% of our apprentices are offered permanent positions by their employers at the end of their programme. Our success rates are consistently above the national averages.

Our support. What puts us ahead of the rest is our personalised and bespoke apprenticeship programmes which are based around supporting businesses. This means that we’ll be with you every step of the way when it comes to providing advice, guidance and training.

On top of this, we have dedicated teams in place to help you maximise your return on investment. We are able to offer a range of services depending on the level of involvement you want us to take in helping your business select, assess and employ apprentices.

We’ll also offer you a free recruitment service worth approximately £2,000, and our team will advise you about the grants and funding options available for your business.

Reforms for levy paying employers

If your company is paying the apprenticeship levy, you’re effectively paying into a pot of money that you can use to pay for apprentice training.

The levy is calculated at 0.5% of your payroll, minus a £15,000 allowance. This means that if 0.5% of your annual payroll is £15,000 or below you won’t have to pay the levy. The levy will be paid through PAYE.

You manage your levy funds from a digital account. As a levy paying employer, you get access to a digital apprenticeship service account. From here you can track your levy contributions and find training providers. You are able to authorise Weston College to manage this on your behalf.

The Government tops up your account by 10%. For every £1 that you pay into the apprenticeship levy, you’re able to spend £1.10 on apprenticeship training.

If you spend all of your funds, you’ll only have to pay 5% for further training. If you spend all of your levy funds, the funding rules for non-levy paying employers will apply to you and the Government will fund 95% of the cost of any further apprenticeships.

You can use the levy to fund apprenticeships. The levy funds can be used to pay for the training and assessment elements of an apprenticeship for either new or existing staff.

You don’t have to use the funds immediately. Everything you pay into the levy will be ring-fenced for two years, however you should start planning how to integrate apprenticeships you will lose access to your funds after the two year period has ended.

You can apply for incentives to help you employ apprentices. Find out more about the grants available for large businesses here.

We can help you make sense of the levy. Weston College has developed a Levy Solution Service to help you navigate through these changes and make the most of the opportunities that the levy presents. Our dedicated Levy Solution Service is on hand to answer your questions and give you advice on how to maximise your use of the apprenticeship levy.


An employer has 250 employees and each has a salary of £20,000.

The payroll total is £5 million, which means that the annual levy sum is £25,000. After taking into account the £15,000 allowance, this means that the company will pay £10,000 per year into the apprenticeship levy.

The Government will then top this figure up by 10%, which will give the company £11,000 to spend on apprenticeship training.

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