Apprenticeship employer fees to be halved from 1st April 2019

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced during his Spring Statement on 13th March 2019 that,

"To help small businesses take on more apprentices I can announce that I am bringing forward the £700 million package of reforms I announced at the budget to the start of the new financial year in April.”

The 10% fee, also called 'co-investment', that small businesses must pay when they take on apprentices will be halved from 1st April 2019. According to the UK's Companies Act 2006, a small company is defined as one that does not have a turnover of more than £6.5million, a balance sheet total of more than £3.26 million and does not have more than 50 employees. 

From 1st April 2019, employers will see the co-investment rate they pay cut by half from 10% to 5%, at the same time as levy-paying employers are able to share more levy funds across their supply chains, with the maximum amount rising from 10% to 25%. The government will now pay 95% of the training costs for apprentices of small businesses.

The government predicts that cutting the co-investment in half will cost the Treasury an extra £70 million a year by 2022.

Business can now employ an apprentice or enrol existing staff on an apprenticeship, on the following ICB-assessed standards:

Level 3 Assistant Accountant

Level 3 Payroll Administrator

ICB is also in the process of co-authoring a new Level 2 Finance/Accounts Assistant Apprenticeship with the Trailblazer Group of employers and awarding bodies. The ICB apprenticeships offer an alternative, funded, route into an accountancy career to those individuals who do not have a University Degree. “We’re committed to helping a diverse range of people become professional bookkeepers or begin their path towards Chartered Accountant status,' says ICB head of technical policy Jacquie Mount FICB. "Reducing the training bill to 5% for smaller businesses could stimulate growth and encourage non-higher education access routes to all professions.”

ICAEW, which awards credits to students who have completed ICB qualifications, attended the official launch of ICB Apprenticeships at the World Skills Show last year and states,

"We know employers and students value these apprenticeships and we are working closely with ICB to support unconventional routes into accountancy. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with ICB as they welcome students, employers and bookkeepers from diverse backgrounds."

ICB supports students of all ages and backgrounds whether they are training towards an apprenticeship, attending college or studying independently. There are no pre-requisites for ICB’s entry-level qualifications and every ICB exam is available on-demand throughout the year, thereby encouraging engagement from a diverse pool of talent at any stage in their career. 

If your practice, your employer or your clients would like to employ an ICB apprentice, or if you’re interested in becoming an ICB apprentice yourself, please contact ICB on 0203 405 4000. You can also find more information here.