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The funds in apprenticeship service accounts are available for levy-paying employers to use for 24 months before they begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis. We have never anticipated that levy-payers will use all the funds available to them, but they are able to if they wish. Individual levy-paying employers have full control over when and where apprenticeship funds are spent to meet their current and future skills needs.
Employers’ levy funds are distinct from the Department for Education’s ring-fenced annual apprenticeship budget. This budget is set on an annual basis to cover the costs of all apprenticeships. This includes new apprenticeships in both levy-paying employers and those that do not pay the levy, as well as existing apprenticeships for learners who started in previous years. As this budget is distinct from the funds in employers’ apprenticeship service accounts, it is not affected by the value of any funds which may expire from employers’ accounts each month.