Levy: The Corporate Tax Aimed to Create a New Workforce Generation

As of April 2017, employers with a PAYE over £3m will contribute with 0.5% of their payroll into an apprenticeships fund. Despite some concerns over the lack of details about the program, it seems to be a game-changer in the educational landscape of the UK. Ultimately, it will be an opportunity for every organisation to build a more skilled workforce – and a more productive business.

The new levy announced in 2015, was created to support the existing government funding for apprenticeship training. According to Chancellor Osborne, this initiative will raise £3bn a year over the next five years, and will help deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

While quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality, this measure will be paired with more rigorous apprenticeship standards (The Trailblazer Initiative), and with the creation of a new independent regulatory body led by employers. This will hopefully meet their ambitions for improvement in training quality while growing in numbers.

The Treasury’s Productivity Plan also promises to bring the levy under employers’ control, enabling them to direct the funding through the Digital Apprenticeship Service to ensure the quality of training they need.

How will it work?

  • Companies with a payroll over £3 million will pay 0.5% of their employers’ pay bill into the levy fund, regardless of their current apprenticeships programs.
  • This tax will then be funneled and ring-fenced in the form of an electronic voucher that employers can use to purchase training from  recognised providers .
  • All organisations will be entitled to claim £15,000 p/annum for apprenticeships training, regardless of their size and PAYE. If companies don’t use this allowance, they will be unable to use it for any other purpose.
  • The first levy payments will be due in April 2017 and paid through Pay As You Earn. HMRC will work with employers and payroll service providers to simplify the implementation of these changes.

How will levy benefit organizations?

Efficient staff equals profitable business. In this sense, the levy incentivises corporations to think about the long-term development of their human resources and exponentially benefit from this initiative.

Among other advantages, it will allow organisations to:

  • Professionally train and upskill existing or new staff;
  • Get more qualified and efficient manpower;
  • Build a talent pipeline for the expansion of their businesses;
  • Increase their HR retention rates;
  • Increase productivity and profitability;
  • See a significant return on investment within the first year of taking on new apprentices;
  • Deliver a better brand experience to their customers;

As it seems, the new levy will allow corporations to build new and stronger workforce generations. If fairly conducted, it has the potential to boost the growth of key sectors and industries and – ultimately – to change the educational landscape of the UK.


To learn more about the levy or our apprenticeships programmes, call us on 03333 110 157 or email

Get ready for National Apprenticeship Week 2016

14-18 March 2016 sees the return of the popular National Apprenticeship Week. Co-ordinated by the Skills Funding Agency to celebrate the positive impact of apprenticeships and traineeships on people, businesses and the wider economy, it involves hundreds of events and activities across England.


During the week, employers, apprentices, business support organisations, colleges and training organisations and schools across the country will be encouraged to host activities to showcase the achievements and benefits of apprenticeships.


Over the next five years, the government is committed to three million new apprenticeships, so they are keen to promote their many benefits – and National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect opportunity to spread the word.


23,000 new vacancies were pledged in 2015


Apprenticeships and traineeships play an important role in upskilling the nation and increasing productivity, and during last year’s National Apprenticeship Week a record-breaking 23,000 new apprenticeship vacancies were pledged. 200 new businesses also joined the Trailblzer programme to design high quality apprenticeships, and degree apprenticeships were launched.


This year, the National Apprenticeship Service are setting their sights even higher, as their Director Sue Husband says:


“Last year’s National Apprenticeship Week saw some tremendous achievements, but I want next year’s National Apprenticeship Week to be the best yet. I am looking forward to once again raising the profile of apprenticeships and traineeships and celebrating the important role they play in equipping people of all ages with the skills that they need to prosper in their lives.”


You can find out more about this year’s National Apprenticeship Week here.

Break that corporate tension with these 5 team building ice breakers

Creating a friendly office environment is one of the most challenging tasks a manager faces in their early stages of developing a successful team. Any office can be civil but it takes time and effort for a group of individuals to function together as a team and achieve results.

In the words of Henry Ford “Coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

So how can a manager help his or her team connect with one another? Building trust between members is critical to building a team so we’ve put together five of the best ice-breakers for the start of team meetings that will take your team from a small-talk office to a “going out together after work” office in no time.

Guess Who
There’s always an element of mystery about new colleagues; what are their hobbies? Do they have a family? What music do they like? Most people feel uncomfortable asking these questions but you can hide all curiosity behind Guess Who where colleagues will share personal information they’re comfortable with. The idea of this game is to give team members slips of paper and ask them to write two things about themselves that no one at work will know about. Collect them all then shuffle. Give each colleague a slip of paper and let them read and guess the owner of these two facts. Most colleagues will elaborate on the two facts without prompting but if not, as the manager, ask some leading questions to encourage them to explain a bit more. You’ll find common interests, shocking facts and there are bound to be some fun facts that get the team laughing.

Fear in a hat
Fear in a hat is a great team building exercise to build unity and group cohesion. Each person writes a personal fear anonymously on slips of paper which are collected in a hat and read aloud. Each person tries to describe his or her understanding of the person’s fear. This game will lead to good discussions about those fears.

Vertical names
In this particular game, each colleague writes their name vertically on a sheet of paper and then list one word horizontally that starts with each letter of their name and that has to describe something about them. Some colleagues may feel embarrassed to describe themselves in a positive way so as manager set the pace by writing your name first and being as dramatic and fun as possible, it will get the team comfortable enough to be as honest and positive about themselves too. This is a great personal and team building exercise.

The imaginary line
This game will divide your office in a good way. Create an imaginary line along your office with one side being “for” and one side being “against”, anything in between will indicate “indifferent” or “unsure”. For this game you will ask colleagues to choose between two things, it could be coffee or tea, white chocolate or milk chocolate, Hawaii or New York. This is a great way for colleagues to see who has a similar preference to them. Be careful not to choose anything too controversial such as religious or political preferences, stick with light-hearted and fun.

My story is our story
Story-time is not just for children! This is an alternative yet fun way to get the office giggles. Gathered in a circle, each colleague will vocally share a funny incident that happened in their life in one sentence, the next colleague will carry the story on by adding something funny has happened in their life. The idea is to go around the circle two or three times. This is a great way for colleagues to feel connected, having created one hilarious story from their own personal tales.

These games will enable team members to show their vulnerability and help you build a cohesive and trusting team.

These are our five top ice breakers, which will you be trying for your team? Comment below or tweet us @F2LAW.

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