PRCA announces it’s time to act on the Apprenticeship Levy

As part of its PR Apprentice programme, The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has issued a call to action regarding the Apprenticeship Levy.

The Apprenticeship Levy is a UK tax on employers which can be used to fund apprenticeship training. It is payable by all employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million at a rate of 0.5% of their total pay bill. The funds are taken out on a monthly basis.

Apprenticeship funds not used within 24 months will expire, on a monthly, “first in first out” basis; for example, funds entering your account in September 2017 will expire in September 2019. It is now 24 months after the Apprenticeship Levy begun, and the deadline for the first month approaches next month (May 2019).

To gain full advantage of that fund before it is too late, employers must start thinking of how to spend it. There are two options:

  1. Choose an apprenticeship programme
  2. Transfer unused funds to other employers

The cost of the PR & Communications Apprenticeship Standard is £9000 and can be funded fully by the Apprenticeship Levy

If an employer does not pay the levy and would still like to train an apprentice, they need to co-invest. Co-investment was set up for non-levy paying employers and those who want to invest more than their levy allows. For new starts from 1st April, 2019, non-levy paying employers pay 5% of the cost of training and assessment for their apprentices. Government funding of 95% is provided to cover the remaining costs. For example, non-levy PR Apprentice employers only pay £450 for apprenticeship training. 

The PR Apprenticeship is a programme whereby the PRCA recruits and trains new junior members of staff for you. Apprentices work full time whilst studying towards a level 4 Higher Apprenticeship qualification, equivalent to the first year of a degree.

Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said: “The PR Apprentice programme is dedicated to the growth and success of prosperous apprenticeships across the PR and communications industry.

“This Apprenticeship Levy is vital to enabling these successful apprenticeships. In order to take full advantage of the funds on offer to them, employees must act now, and decide whether they wish to choose an apprenticeship programme or transfer the unused funds to other employers.”

For more information on the Apprenticeship Levy, click here.

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