Published on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Industry News: Transferring Apprenticeship Funds

From April 2018 employers who pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to transfer apprenticeship funds to other organisations.

Key points to note:

  • Employers can transfer a maximum of 10% of annual funds. This is worked out from the total amount of levy declared, with the English % applied, plus the 10% government top-up payment.
  • Funds will be used to pay for the training and assessment cost of the apprenticeships agreed with the receiving employer and will be paid monthly for the duration of the apprenticeship.
  • Only levy-paying employers can make a transfer.
  • Any employer can receive and use transferred funds, but they have to be registered on the apprenticeship service.
  • A transfer can only be used to pay for training and assessment for apprenticeship standards.

Setting up transfers

The sending employer and the receiving employer need to first agree the details of the transfer of funds ie for which apprenticeship standard they are for, how many apprentices, and the cost.

Once both employers are registered on the apprenticeship service, they must access their accounts and connect with each other. The receiving employer must add the apprentice details and then the transfer must be confirmed

Employers who are transferring funds

Before making a transfer, the employer must ensure they

  • have enough funds to transfer to another employer
  • have a clear understanding of the cost to them which will cover the duration of the apprenticeship they’ve agreed to fund
  • understand they will be funding the total cost of the apprenticeship and not just the 10% co-investment
  • agree details of the apprenticeship with the employer who is receiving the transfer
  • are aware of the funding rules around transferring apprenticeship funds which will be published at a later date

There are currently no restrictions about who employers can transfer funds to.

Employers should also know:

  • if they currently have an apprentice funded by a transfer, they can’t transfer funds to another employer
  • if they are currently transferring funds to another employer, they can’t receive transferred funds to pay for their apprenticeships
  • once a transfer is made they can’t refund it to the sending employer
  • transfer payments will be made monthly from their apprenticeship account
  • if the apprenticeship stops, their transferred payments will stop as well

Employers who want to receive a transfer

If an employer wants to receive a transfer from another employer they must be aware that:

  • they can only use the transferred funds for apprenticeship training and assessment
  • they can only use transferred fund for apprenticeship standards
  • they need to create an account on the apprenticeship service to receive the transfer and pay for apprenticeship training
  • they need to sign an agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
  • if the apprenticeship stops then the funding will stop too
  • they won’t have to pay any funds back to the sending employer
  • they will be asked to make a 10% contribution to cost of apprenticeship training (the government will pay the remaining 90%) if the transferring employer runs out of funds
  • they have to pay the difference to the training provider if the cost of training exceeds the funding band maximum of a standard
  • they need to be aware of the funding rules around transferring apprenticeship funds which will be published at a later date

State aid

Employers must be aware that 10% of all the funds they receive as a transfer from another employer count as state aid. They must check: 

  • how much state aid they’ve already received in any 3 year period, so they don’t go over the €200,000 limit allowed
  • if they’re part of a connected organisation, they’ll need to find out the combined total of state aid they’ve received for that 3 year period


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