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Non-levy apprenticeship funding for employers

An employer that does not pay the apprenticeship levy is considered a non-levy paying employer. As a non-levy employer, you can access funding for apprenticeship training and assessment through a government-employer co-investment of 5%.

You can find out more about apprenticeships with ICAEW on our dedicated page.

How does a non-levy paying apprenticeship work?

The government asks that you make a 5% contribution and it will pay the remaining 95%, up to the maximum amount of funding set for the apprenticeship you have chosen.

The funding cap for the Level 4 apprenticeship is £8,000 and for Level 7 it’s £21,000, meaning your 5% contribution will be £400 and £1,050 respectively. It’s worth noting that funding does not cover the entry fees for 14 of the ACA exams and resits are also not covered.

You have to meet, in full, any costs incurred over the funding band maximum.


From 1 April 2021, all employers will use the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) to register staff onto apprenticeships, select tuition providers, pay for apprenticeships and this is also where you can claim financial incentives.  


Your training provider will check the eligibility of your staff and register them with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Graduates, non-graduates and school leavers working in England are all eligible for apprenticeship funding. There is no upper age restriction and, furthermore, you are exempt from paying the 15.05% employer National Insurance contribution for apprentices aged 25 and under.

Non-levy funding and support

Employers who do not pay the levy are also eligible for additional non-levy apprenticeship funding and support, depending on your apprentice’s circumstances or if you are a business employing fewer than 50 employees. Please read the Apprenticeship funding: rules and guidance for employers for details. Eligibility criteria is detailed in the ‘extra support for small employers’ section (paragraphs E94 to E97).

To take on an apprentice with ICAEW, please contact bds@icaew.com to arrange a meeting with your ICAEW regional training contact, or visit icaew.com/growyourbusiness for more information.

Announcement from 1 April 2021

Employers will be able to recruit additional apprentices following the changes. From 1 April 2021, employers can make up to ten new reservations to fund new apprenticeships. Employers can also reserve funds up to six months in advance of an apprentices planned start, allowing flexibility in planning apprenticeship programmes.

Contact your local Business Development Manager to discuss this in more detail.