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The Government has published draft legislation on the Apprenticeship Levy, which will be introduced from April 2017.
The draft legislation confirms that from April 2017, employers with an annual wage bill of more than £3m will have to pay a levy of 0.5% of payroll to fund apprenticeships. It will be payable through PAYE alongside income tax and National insurance.
To offset the payment of the levy, employers will receive a £15,000 allowance, which will be paid in vouchers. Employers who operate a number of payrolls will only be able to claim one allowance.
The Government aim to use the £3bn raised to boost both the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. They aim to create an additional 3 million by 2020.
The lack of a skilled workforce is a growing problem for the UK, particularly in some sectors and whilst the measures will cause some additional costs for larger employers, most employers would find their aims hard to disagree with.
The draft legislation and explanatory notes can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy