Can employers charge apprentices who leave early to recoup training cost spend?
It’s a standard practice in many industries that employers will charge employees if they have paid for some development or training and then subsequently leave the business. This makes sense in commercial arrangements, but I suspect that this would be different when the public purse is being used.
The query comes from an employer that will pay the levy. Their HR departments write training agreements that ask employers to pay back training spend when they leave the company within certain timeframes. They are asking whether of not this should also be the case for apprenticeships.
I cannot see anything in the funding guidance that covers this, but my gut feeling is that they cannot. The levy pot is still a pot of Government funding and does not belong to the employer. If an employer recoups any spend then they cannot put it back in the pot so in theory they could be making profit, albeit small amounts, from public funding.
That said, if you try and find information on this via the internet, you can find instances where charging apprentices in similar situations has happened.
This may be covered by the following from the Employer Rules
52.4. not be asked to contribute financially to the direct cost of learning or assessment (this includes where an apprentice leaves their programme early – you must not claim training or assessment costs back from ex-apprentices)