If a large employer with over 1000 employees wants to just do one apprenticeship with a learner but does not want to use the levy pot. Can it be funded normally and the company pays the 10% contribution instead? As it is just one learner they don’t want to use the levy funding is this possible?
My colleague recently emailed the help desk with the same query and received the following response.
“In this situation, the employer would need to use their levy funding in order to pay for this apprentice as the preferred and default method of funding for a levy paying employer is to use available levy funds. As such, a levy paying employer cannot voluntarily enter co-investment.”
“The only way in which a levy paying employer can choose not to use their levy funding is if they fund the apprenticeship themselves as a private funding model.”
A previous reply from the service desk contradicts this:
“The learner could be recorded as ESFA funded and the learner would be funded by us and the employer would pay 10% however you as a provider would need a contract for non levy provision to offer this if you do not already. If for example when the learner is halfway through program and the employer wants to switch to levy funded this is possible by following the guidance in the Provider Support Manual 17-18.”
When I complained about a contradiction last week I was told “the funding rules are for each provider to adhere to and interpret and justify and evidence as they deem relevant“. So sounds like it’s up to us!
Honestly, it seems odd that they would allow an employer to access ESFA funding when they have some levy money. Having said that, if the employer doesn’t use their levy money, that will all go back into the central pot eventually, so the government actually saves a small amount (the 10% contribution).