“Don McLean Was Wrong – The Levy Isn’t Dry!”

Lee Dempster

5th July 2017

Now the reason I mention this is that until recently the only time I’d heard the word Levy being used so often was in American Pie (and yes, I know he spells it differently but he pronounces it the same)

One of the most interesting parts of working with a sister company specialising in Training is the things you learn that you wouldn’t usually have done in your own world. In this case, everything about the Apprenticeship Levy.


So, what is the Apprenticeship Levy?

As a recap – or new piece of information for those that didn’t know – the Apprenticeship Levy started in May this year. At 0.5% of any England based payroll over £3m, the Levy can have a huge impact on larger organisations. The money paid goes into a company’s digital account and can be used to support learning and development needs, whether that is for new starters or existing staff.

So – if you have a big payroll, then you are paying out. However what has been fascinating to me is how companies have been approaching this new charge. They can be put into 3 categories:

1)      It’s a tax and they are just going to take it on the chin.

2)      They have little knowledge of what it means and they intend to look into it.

3)      They see it as a great investment opportunity to develop their people.


I run a recruitment business, so why on earth do I care about this? Well I am passionate in companies being able to have plans to address the following challenges highlighted by the REC in their recent market report.

–         Perm hiring is at a two-year peak

–         Total vacancies are increasing

–         All regions in the UK show growth

–         Availability of candidates continues a three year decline

–         Labour, skill, and talent shortages worsening

–         Salaries continue to rise


Whatever your people development plans, the Levy could be a tool to help achieve your goals. If you are on the offensive in your growth plans then you should be using the Levy to support your investment in new hires and to develop their skills. If you plan to stay stable and defend what you have then the Levy can be used to upskill existing employees and further their effectiveness and commitment.

And another important thing I have learnt. Yes, the Levy covers ‘traditional apprenticeships’, but you can also use it for a whole range of other apprenticeship-funded training programmes for existing staff including leadership, management, project management and lots of other business services – who knew?


From the unique standpoint of Recruitment market knowledge, JITR and Just IT Training are working together to provide innovative solutions to customers and guide their response to market pressures. Our Just IT Training designed qualifications help support companies in a critically candidate short market.