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Apprenticeship funding for non-levy paying employers

As an employer that doesn’t pay the apprenticeship levy, you can access funding for apprenticeship training and assessment through a government-employer co-investment.

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

How does it 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.


As a non-levy paying employer, you won’t be able to use the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment costs until late 2019.

Instead, you will pay your contribution directly to your training provider so you will need to agree a payment schedule with them. As it’s their responsibility to access funding, they must prove that you have paid your contributions as a condition of the government paying its contribution.

N.B. training providers must be approved on ESFA’s register of apprenticeship training providers and have a “contract for services – non-levy apprenticeship education and training” with ESFA to receive funds to deliver apprenticeship training.


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 13.8% employer National Insurance contribution for apprentices aged 25 and under.

Additional funding and support

Employers who do not pay the levy are also eligible for additional 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.