Apprentices: Taxation

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will extend the clawback for the Apprenticeship Levy to 48 months from the existing 24 months to support companies that have been affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to allow companies to spend the Apprenticeship Levy on (a) training equipment and (b) apprentices' salaries.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The apprenticeship levy underpins our reforms to raise apprenticeship quality and support employers to make a long-term, sustainable investment in the skills that they need to grow. Income from the levy is used to fund apprenticeships for all employers – both in employers who pay the levy and employers who do not. Funding from the levy is available to spend on apprenticeship training and assessment costs as outlined in the funding rules.

From the point at which funds enter an employer’s account, they have 24 months to spend them. Unused funds only begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis 24 months after they enter an employer’s account. Levy-paying employers can transfer up to 25% of their annual funds to help support apprenticeship starts in their supply chain or to meet local skills needs.

The department believes that 24 months provides employers with a sufficient opportunity to make use of their levy funds. We currently have no plans to extend the expiry period for employers’ levy fund or to review what these funds can be spent on. We continue to engage closely with businesses, listening to their views about apprenticeships and the operation of the levy so it continues to deliver the skilled workforce that employers need.

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