The apprenticeship levy

The Apprenticeship Levy came into force on 6 April 2017 and was introduced by the Government in order to address the shortage of skilled workers in the UK, by increasing the number of apprenticeship opportunities offered by employers.

All employers who have a wage bill of over £3 million pounds per year are required to pay a percentage of their payroll each month to fund an apprenticeship levy. This money is then reinvested back into the workforce to fund apprenticeship training.

At Cheshire East Council we are using our apprenticeship levy to invest in high-quality training, helping to further develop our organisation and provide the skilled workforce needed to thrive and succeed.  

We are now able to work in partnership with other employers, supporting them to take on new apprentices and develop their existing staff.

We can now transfer up to 25% of our apprenticeship funds to other employers, helping in turn to raise the number of high-quality apprenticeships across Cheshire East.

To access our levy fund please complete the online apprenticeship levy transfer request form.

Meeting the apprenticeship target

The public sector apprenticeship target was introduced by government in April 2017 in accordance with The Public Sector Apprenticeship Targets Regulations 2017.

The public sector target was introduced in April 2017 and applies to any public sector employer with at least 250 employees. The Target requires public sector employers to employ an average of 2.3% of their organisation’s headcount as new apprentice starts each year between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2021. The target (headcount) includes council employees and staff working in schools which are under the control of Cheshire East Council.

The public sector target is in effect an aggregated target, with employers able to average out their performance over the four year period.

Employers do not have to meet a target annually, but they do have to calculate what 2.3% of their workforce looks like on 31 March of each of the four years in the reporting period. These four figures are then added together to calculate the total target. This figure represents the total number of apprenticeship starts that an employer should aim for by the end of the four year period. Delivery against this target can be averaged out over the four year period to manage peaks and troughs in recruitment.

As a public sector body in scope of this target, we must ‘have regard’ to the target and submit a report annually to Government, by 30 September, on progress in meeting the target.

The Government considers the duty to “have regard” to the target to mean that in making workforce planning decisions, we should actively consider apprenticeships, either for new recruits or as part of career development for existing employees.

Data Publication - Public Sector Duty

Number of employees who work in England

Number of employees who were working in England on 31 March
201720182019
7356 7159 7459

Number of new employees who started working for you in England between 1 April to 31 March
2017-20182018-20192019-2020
637 640 804

Number of apprentices who were working in England on 31 March  

Number of apprentices who work in England
201720182019
21 83 151

Number of new apprentices in England between 1 April to 31 March (includes both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship)
2017-20182018-20192019-2020
93 109 68

Cheshire East Council Reporting percentages
Cheshire East Council Reporting percentages2017-20182018-20192019-2020
Percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) as a proportion of employment starts between 1 April to 31 March 14.60% 17.03% 8.46%
Percentage of total headcount that were apprentices on 31 March 1.24% 2.02% 1.60%
Percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) between 1 April to 31 March as a proportion of total headcount on 31 March 1.26% 1.52% 0.91%

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