Information for employers

ILM offers the ultimate management apprenticeship service, with end to end solutions built around our market leading qualifications

At ILM, we believe in nurturing both new and existing employees. Apprenticeships can empower your staff with technical knowledge and transferable skills - a vital way of increasing the value of your business. ILM’s Apprenticeships help enable businesses to train new talent while ensuring company knowledge is retained in-house, as well as giving candidates the opportunity to earn while they learn and build a portfolio of work.

The Apprenticeship Levy

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The UK government has committed to a target of three million apprenticeship starts between 2015 and 2020 - and they're aiming to get businesses involved with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. The apprenticeship levy will help to fund this, raising up to 3 billion per year by 2021.

From April 2017, employers with an annual pay-bill of £3 million or more will pay 0.5% into the levy. Government estimates that around 21,000 UK employers will be required to pay the levy; no employer is exempt.

How can I use my apprenticeship levy?

Each apprenticeship Framework or Standard is assigned a funding band. Employers can negotiate a price with a provider on the actual cost of delivery. Levy funds can then be used to pay for the delivery. If a fee is agreed which is greater than the band, the employer is required to pay the additional amount in full.

Once a fee has been agreed, the employer and provider will set up payment terms. The employer must transfer equal payments to the training provider each month, with 20% held back to pay for End-Point Assessment.

Who can I develop using the apprenticeship levy? 

From May 2017, government is relaxing restrictions around prior achievement. This means employers will be able to deliver management apprenticeships to staff who are already qualified at a higher level, provided their prior qualification is in an unrelated discipline.

This is particularly useful where employers have highly-qualified technical staff who are ready to move into management positions. For example, an existing staff member who has a degree in Physics will be able to study towards a Level 3 or Level 5 Management apprenticeship, and their employer will be able pay for this out of their levy funds.  

Employing an apprentice

Apprentices are employees aged 16 or over working while studying - from GCSE right up to degree level.

There are several steps to taking on an apprentice:

  • Choose an apprenticeships framework or standard for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level.

  • Find a training organisation that offers apprenticeships for your industry - they’ll handle your apprentice’s training, qualification and assessment.

  • Check you’re eligible for apprenticeship funding and apply - there are different rules for large employers with wage bills over £3m and SMEs

  • Advertise your apprenticeship - your training organisation will do this for you through the find an apprenticeship service. Alternatively, work with your training organisation to identify how the programme will fit into an existing employee's role.

  • Select your apprentice and make an apprenticeship agreement with them

Apprenticeship programmes provide the perfect blend of development for the workplace. Apprentices are employed as a member of staff, paid the minimum apprenticeship wage (or more) and work alongside your existing staff to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to make an impact on your business.

New style apprenticeships have been developed with employers in mind – so they’re perfect for addressing the changing needs of UK business. Investing in your managers via apprenticeships creates engaged, productive and effective workforces that have a sustained impact on your business.

Apprenticeships are typically delivered with the help of an ILM Training Provider. You can find ILM approved providers here:

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This guidance relates to England only. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own separate funding arrangements. Any queries relating to the devolved administrations can also be directed to

Frameworks versus standards

There are currently two types of apprenticeship in England:

Apprenticeship frameworks are made up of work-based qualifications with a blend of workplace and classroom-based learning. Apprenticeship frameworks are being phased out and we expect the Management Frameworks to be withdrawn in Spring 2018.
Apprenticeship standards cover a specific occupation and include the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to become occupationally competent within that occupation. Apprenticeship standards also have an end-point assessment which must be carried out by an ESFA-approved Apprentice Assessment Organisation.

ILM offers the full range of apprenticeship frameworks and standards for leadership and management.

Funding bands

Each framework or standard is assigned a funding band maximum, which indicates the maximum amount of funding available for each apprentice. Providers and employers can negotiate and agree a fee within the band. 

Employers can choose to deliver an apprenticeship at a higher rate than the funding band maximum, however they will need to pay the additional costs themselves.

ILM offers a range of management apprenticeship frameworks and standards, with funding band maximums are as follows:


  • Level 2 Team Leading - £1,500
  • Level 3 Management - £2,000
  • Level 4 Management - £2,000
  • Level 5 Leadership and Management - £2,500


  • Team Leader/Supervisor (Level 3) - £5,000
  • Operations/Departmental Manager (Level 5) - £9,000
  • Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (Level 6) - £27,000

Non-levy paying employers

Non-levied employers can still negotiate the cost of delivery with their training provider, however they must make a 10% contribution towards the overall cost*. A payment schedule is agreed prior to delivery and the provider must invoice the employer for their monthly contribution. The remaining 90% is paid to the provider from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Providers must therefore have an apprenticeship allocation from the ESFA

The ESFA will not trigger release of funds until the provider has given evidence that the employer has paid their 10% contribution.

* However Government will pay 100% of costs for small employers (with fewer than 50 staff) who take on any of the following:

  • a 16-18 year old apprentice
  • a 16-24 year old with an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • a 16-24 year old care leaver.

What can and cannot be funded

Public funding – which includes SFA contributions and employer levy funding – can only be used to cover the costs of training and assessment, including End-point Assessment. There are strict rules around what can and cannot be funded. Full details can be found in the funding rules for training providers, however some key examples are below:

Can be funded   Cannot be funded
Delivery and assessment costs associated with relevant qualifications Qualification registration fee (unless mandated within the standard)
Distance, online or blended learning relating to the off-the-job training element of an apprenticeship Apprentice wages
Materials (non-capital items) used in the delivery of the apprenticeship framework or standard Apprentice travel costs
Any administration directly linked to the training and assessment, including endpoint assessment. This includes costs relating to the development of teaching materials, lesson planning, the processing of the ILR and quality assurance. Any delivery which is done entirely by distance learning
End-point Assessment resits, where additional learning takes place. End-point Assessment resits where no additional learning takes place
Workbooks and learning resources, including where purchased from a third party. Any training or materials not relating to the standard.

English and maths, where needed, are funded separately at a rate of £471 per subject.

We want to help you get started on your apprenticeship journey. Request a call back or email us and we'll be in touch within two days.

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*All ILM qualifications are awarded by The City and Guilds of London Institute which was founded in 1878 and is incorporated by Royal Charter.

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