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Here are five basic things you should know about the apprenticeship levy as an employer in Scotland.


1. What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

All UK employers (public and private) with annual salary bills of more than £3m will pay an apprenticeship levy from today (6th April 2017), which has been introduced by the UK Government with the aim of funding apprenticeships. Read more about the apprenticeship levy and its background at Scottish Government's apprenticeship levy page.

2. How will the levy be collected?

The levy is set at 0.5% of an employer’s annual wage bill and each month HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will collect the levy through Pay As You Earn (PAYE), payable alongside income tax and National Insurance.


3. How do I know if I will need to pay the levy?

Your total pay bill will be based on total employees earning subject to Class 1 secondary NICS therefore if you have an annual pay bill of over £3m then you will be in scope to pay the levy. However, if your organisation is part of a group you might find that you’re still liable to pay the levy even if your individual organisation’s pay bill is under £3m. Read more about calculating and paying the levy via the HMRC


4. How do I calculate how much I’ll need to pay?

The levy is set at 0.5% of an employer’s annual wage bill and will be collected each month by HMRC. If you already have apprenticeship programmes in your organisation then you will need to calculate the amount of apprenticeship levy you have to pay and assess how this fits against the budget you have already allocated to apprenticeships.

If you don’t currently have any apprenticeship programmes in your organisation then this is an opportunity to assess how Work-based Learning can drive your organisation forward in terms of performance and productivity. View our apprenticeships video.


5. How do I find out more about apprenticeship programmes?

Employers in Scotland do not have to wait for the levy to be collected in order to engage with apprenticeships. Apprenticeship funding will continue to be administered by Skills Development Scotland through contracted training providers and direct employer contracts.

Read all about our Foundation, Modern and Graduate Level Apprenticeship programmes at our dedicated website for apprenticeships


Where can I get further support?

We can help you determine the impact of the levy and maximise apprenticeship opportunities for your organisation. For free support contact our employer helpline on 0800 783 6000 or fill out our support request form. You can also view our Levy FAQs at

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