9.6 Things to know

1. Apprenticeships are amazing

According to GOV.UK, a stunning 89% of apprenticeship employers said apprentices helped their business improve the quality of their product or service. 83% of apprentices said their career prospects had improved too.

2. Apprentices aren't just for Christmas

Seven in ten apprentices stay with their employer, with almost a quarter receiving a promotion within 12 months of finishing. By taking on an apprentice, you’ll be helping to turn a young person into a real asset for your company - and the country.

3. Existing employees can be apprentices

So long as an apprenticeship makes sense for your employee - that it’s a natural part of their training - then, for the purposes of the government’s new apprenticeship levy scheme, they should qualify. You don’t even need to change their job title.

4. Apprentices split their time between campus and work

The whole idea of modern apprentices is that they contribute to your business, and develop work-based experience, whilst learning other skills that a campus environment is best placed to deliver. Typically, they’ll spend around a quarter of time on campus and the rest at your workplace.

5. The apprenticeship levy will be here sooner than you think

The days are ticking until April 2017 when the apprenticeship levy kicks in, and from that point your wage bill will increase by 0.5%. But only if your company is a certain size, because...

6. Not everyone will be hit by the levy

If your wage bill is under £3 million per year then you won't need to pay the levy. Note, though, that the £3 million includes everything - bonuses too.

7. Relax: the first £3 million is covered

If your wage bill is £3,000,001, then don't worry: only the extra £1 will be subject to the levy (frankly, we doubt HMRC will be in touch). So the simple calculation is the difference. Wage bill £4 million; you’ll pay 0.5% of £1 million, so £5,000. Wage bill £13 million: you’ll pay £50,000. What’s more, the government will add 10p for every pound you spend.

8. But everyone can take advantage

The government wants all sizes of business to take on apprentices, and if your wage bill is under £3 million then it will make a contribution to the cost. Details are still to be released, but get in contact with a suitable college - such as PROCAT - and they’ll be able to give you guidance.

9. It’s an opportunity, not a tax

Well, it is a tax in a way - but the government’s motivations are good. The idea behind the levy is to raise an extra £3 billion to fund training of the next generation of workers. That’s a fund you can tap into, so why not take advantage?

9.5 Have questions? PROCAT has the answers

Creating amazing workers is what we do. In fact, PROCAT was created in 1969 by a group of engineering employers who wanted a training facility to provide “off-the-job training” for their apprentices.

Read our guide to new apprenticeships and the levy here.


9.6 All animals are equal

Despite our name, we like dogs too.