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Government pocketing uncollected apprenticeship funds

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Just £108m of the £2bn in Levy funds are being released by the government according to official documents.

As revealed in the documents obtained by Highways Magazine following a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), just £108m of the roughly £2bn raised between May 2017 and February 2018 has been paid from employer accounts.

Roofing contractors with an annual pay bill of over £3m must pay the Apprenticeship Levy at a rate of 0.5% of their wage bill. The Levy is paid through PAYE to HMRC, which according to its provisional figures shows that the government is collecting around £200m a month.  

However, government guidance states that any funds, which are left unused “will expire 24 months after they enter your account”, which means that the uncollected cash will go back to the Treasury.

In response to a question from Highways Magazine, the government FoI team said:

“Funding within apprenticeships service accounts can only be used to fund apprenticeships that meet the requirements of the funding rules published by the ESFA [Education and Skills Funding Agency]. Since May 2017 the value of payments from employer accounts to the end of January was £108m.”

Source: Highways Magazine

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