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With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy by the Government in 2017, employers with a payroll of over £3 million are now required to contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy to fund their apprenticeships. If your business fits this category you are known as a Levy Payer.

Levy Payers, are required to set up an account on the Digital Apprenticeship Service, this account enables you to monitor your Levy contributions and also your payments to training providers for any apprenticeship training you are receiving.

Businesses not paying the Levy are known as Non-Levy Payers

Non-Levy Payers are eligible to receive a 95% contribution towards the cost of the apprenticeship and were not required to set up a Digital Apprenticeship Account initially.

However, moving forward the recruitment of all new apprentices will be required to go through the online digital system in order to access the funding for them, regardless of whether you are a Levy Payer or Non Levy Payer.

The step by step below guides you through what you need to do to reserve the funding for your apprenticeship training. You can do this in advance of learners signing up.

Step-by-Step Guide: Apprenticeship Service

In the past, funding came directly from the government education body ESFA to Achieve Training/other colleges, but now employers need to reserve the funding themselves and request it be passed on to their training provider using the digital Apprentice Service.

Our step-by-step guide below talks you through the key things you need to do when using the Apprenticeship Service. Don't worry, we will send you a link for you to register for your account when using Achieve Training as your apprenticeship training provider.

Step 1. The purpose of the Digital Account System

Through your account you will be able to manage a range of services. This includes managing apprenticeship funding, advertising vacancies on Find an Apprenticeship, finding training providers that deliver your chosen apprenticeship programme and reserving funding for the provider to deliver the chosen apprenticeship.

Click here for more information on the Government Digital Account System - Apprenticeship Service

Step 2. What you will need to do

You will first need to create an account, then add a PAYE scheme on behalf of your organisation and lastly accept the employer agreement with the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency).

The video tutorial below guides you through what the apprenticeship service is.

Step 3. Information you will need

Before you begin to set up your account you will need to have a couple of pieces of information to hand.

  • An email address you have access to

  • The Government Gateway login for your organisation (or you can use the accounts office reference number and employer PAYE scheme reference number if your annual pay bill is less than £3 million)

  • Authority to add PAYE schemes to the account

  • Authority to accept the employer agreement on behalf of your organisation

  • If you are a sole trader and require further guidance, then please do get in touch

For a video on the information you will need you can watch the video below

4. Give us permissions to support you with the process

We would encourage you to give us training provider permissions, this way we can then add apprentice details/create cohort groups on your behalf making things simpler and quicker for you. All you will need to do is approve them. 

You will need our UKPRN number 1000 5250 – Achieve Training (Staffordshire) Ltd.

5. Employer incentive payments – How to access

  • Employers need to apply for the grant direct from ESFA via their account.
  • Under the finance section of the home page they can select ‘hire a new apprentice payment application’
  • They will only be able to do this once the apprentice has been added.
  • Please note if the learner has not yet been added, speak to us for more information or if you have any concerns.


Are you ready to find out more? Book a meeting with our Partnerships team below.

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