Choose Cumbria

The Apprenticeship Levy – what you need to know

Published on: Thursday 2nd February 2017

Furness College Director of Business Development Helen Wharton explains what the apprenticeship levy will mean for businesses in Cumbria.

What is the apprenticeship levy?

In spring 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers. Large employers will be required to contribute to the apprenticeship levy and funds to pay for apprenticeship training will be accessed through a digital account system. The levy will help to support quality training, and employers who are committed to training will be able to get more out than they pay in.

With this changing landscape around apprenticeships and qualifications – and the government creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 – it’s important you seek out professional help to understand what the changes could mean for you. There are significant opportunities for companies to ‘grow their own’ skilled workforce and it’s a great time to invest in apprenticeships. Here at Furness College we have a dedicated Business and Employment Support Team who will be happy come and visit you to talk about the support we can provide.

Click here for more information on the apprenticeship levy.

Furness College will help you through every step of the journey, offering an end-to-end service to help your business take on apprentices and manage the apprenticeship levy. Any business looking for more information or just a quick chat to find out what this could mean for them should contact a member of the Business and Employment Support Team at the College on 01229 825017 who will be happy come and visit you to talk about how they can help. Alternatively, email them at

Additional funding for taking on an apprentice

The Age Grant

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 to 24 year olds (Age 16 to 24) aims to support businesses who would not otherwise be in a position to do so, to recruit individuals aged 16 to 24 into employment through the Apprenticeship programme. The National Apprenticeship Service will provide Age 16 to 24 to eligible employers, in respect of qualifying apprentices, with an individual value of £1,500. Employers can be paid five grants in total during the lifetime of the initiative. This grant availability runs until July 2017.

Furness Economic Development Forum Coastal Communities Grant

If you are a small or medium sized business with less than 250 employees operating in the Furness coastal area, you could be eligible for a Furness Economic Development Forum Apprenticeship Grant. The Furness Economic Development Forum Apprenticeship Programme provides a discretionary grant of up to £2,500 to employers operating in the supply chain, who are taking on a new or additional apprentice aged 16-24 in the following sectors:

  • Knowledge economy/high technology sectors of
  • Education
  • Electronics
  • Life sciences – biopharmaceutical
  • Manufacturing
  • Marine
  • Maritime
  • Naval shipbuilding
  • Offshore energy – oil gas wind nuclear
  • Other systems integration technologies (we can agree what these may be)
  • STEM topics
  • Support services

For more information, talk to a member of the Business and Employment Support Team at Furness College on 01229 825017 or email them at

Click here for more information on apprenticeships at Furness College, a partner of Choose Cumbria.

Subscribe to our newsletter: get a glimpse of what it's really like to live and work in Cumbria.