What is the apprenticeship levy? Find out if you qualify

Posted on January 27, 2021

What is the apprenticeship levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy is a levy on UK employers to fund apprenticeships and help their staff upskill.

The new apprenticeship standard was introduced in April 2017 and the aim is to address the skill gaps and the low productivity in the UK.

Many businesses have not used the levy and wasted the money. Many professionals still don’t know the apprenticeships are an option for them to train and upskill regardless of their age.

Apprenticeships are still associated with young adults who choose not to go to university and instead learn on the job.

How to find out if your organisation pays the levy?

The best way is to ask your HR team whether your organisation pays the levy or not.

If you work for an employer who has an annual wage bill of over £3 million then they pay a 0.5% levy as part of their PAYE tax bill. This money goes to a digital account that your organisation uses to fund apprenticeships. This means an organisation of about 1000 staff paying an average salary of £30,000 will have a levy pot of about £150,000 available. All this money can be used by the organisation to fund training for their own apprentices. In other words, upskill your team for free!

If your organisation is spending to the limit of their levy pot, then they will need to pay 5% of the total cost of an apprenticeship while the government pays 95%.

My organisation does not pay the levy

Your staff can still become apprentices.

95% of the apprenticeship cost is paid by the government and 5% is paid by your organisation, meaning that an apprentice would receive a high-quality Business Analyst qualification for just 5% of the cost!

What is an apprenticeship provider?

An apprenticeship provider works with an employer to provide the training for the apprentices.  Organisations can choose to upskill their staff or recruit a new person for the apprentice role. The apprentices need to be 18 or over, be employed by your organisation, have lived in the UK for more than 3 years or more, and must live and work in England.

Employers select ‘best of breed’ training providers to meet their needs, agree on the fees and a programme before signing a contract with the provider. Once the apprentice has started the programme, payments are approved by the employer and paid monthly from the account to the provider. The levy payments for the business analyst apprenticeship are spread over 18 months with 20% of the total being held back by the government until the learner has completed.

If you are not a levy payer, the cost for the business analyst apprenticeship comes to at approx. £900 per learner. This is invoiced by the apprenticeship provider in 4 quarterly instalments.

Some companies allow the apprentices to choose their own provider while others are already working with a preferred supplier.
Not all business analyst apprenticeships are created equal and there is no one size fits all. We recommend you review the content and the delivery of an apprenticeship before enrolling in one because there is a huge time commitment to make the wrong decision for your apprentices.

What can Metadata Training help you with?

We can help you create a flexible programme for your apprentices that they can fit into their work schedule. That is why our programmes work very well for mature apprentices.

Start any time
Some apprenticeship programmes have cohorts and you have to attend the training at certain times which can be a problem if you have to work on a project and there are deadlines.

That is why we made it simple and easy for you not only to start when you are ready but also to choose your training days.

Get industry-wide qualifications – all exams paid for
Most apprenticeship providers don’t offer qualifications as part of their programme. Yet many apprentices want these qualifications as proof of their expertise and recognition.

Metadata includes all exam prices for 5 industry-recognised business analyst qualifications & 1 agile qualification.

Be mentor by BA experts and not your BA colleagues
Not all apprenticeship providers will provide you a mentor who has business analyst apprenticeship experience.

Some apprenticeship providers will provide a skills coach with no experience in the field you are working in, while the expectation is for your organisation to find you a BA mentor. This can lead to struggles for the apprentices as the mentors might not be familiar with the apprenticeship content and the portfolio that the apprentice needs to complete to finish their programme.


Note: The Business Analyst Apprenticeship has a funding band of £18,000. If the learner already has some BA skills the cost is reduced. We have an initial discussion to understand needs before we can provide exact costs and programme length.

Contact us to discuss your training needs.

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