THE APPRENTICESHIP SERVICE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Apprenticeship Service?
The Apprenticeship Service is the online digital platform, created by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), to support apprenticeships. It is used by both employers and training providers to find, fund and manage apprenticeship programmes.
Who can use the Apprenticeship Service?
The Apprenticeship Service was originally designed for large employers to manage their apprenticeship levy funds, but from January 2020, the service has been available to small employers that don’t pay the levy.
Why should I use the Apprenticeship Service?
The service gives you better access to high quality apprenticeships as well as greater control over apprenticeship training decisions. It enables you to:
Reserve and manage funding to pay for training and assessment
Apply for apprenticeship incentives for new hires (from 1st August 2020 – 31st March 2021)
Select an apprenticeship that meets your business needs
Recruit apprentices with support from GP Strategies
Create and advertise apprenticeship vacancies with GP Strategies
Choose GP Strategies as your preferred training provider
Find an end point assessment organisation with support from GP Strategies
Set permissions for allowing GP Strategies to take actions on your behalf
Give real-time feedback on the quality of training
If I want to recruit an apprentice, is it mandatory that I register with the Apprenticeship Service?
It is not mandatory at the moment but we expect all new apprenticeships to be funded via the Apprenticeship Service from 1 April 2021 so it is a good time to transition to the service. The government has also extended its latest incentive scheme by two months until 31st March 2021, so you can benefit from this additional cash bonus.
How do I register on the Apprenticeship Service?
The process is pretty straightforward and should be completed by a person of authority within your organisation. It is important that the right people in your company have the right access and permission levels to manage the system and budgets. There are four main steps you need to follow:
- Create a user account using your name and a valid email address
- Add a Pay as You Earn (PAYE) scheme on behalf of your organisation
- Confirm your organisation details
- Accept the employer agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
What do I need to register?
You will need the following information before you start the registration process:
A valid email address
The Government Gateway login details (user ID and password) for your organisation - your payroll or finance department should have your organisation’s Government Gateway details
If your annual pay bill is less than £3 million, you can use the accounts office reference number and employer PAYE scheme reference number
Authority to add PAYE schemes to the account
Authority to accept the employer agreement on behalf of your organisation
How many apprentices can I add to my Apprenticeship Service account?
The number of apprentices that small employers can start through the Apprenticeship Service has increased from three to 10.
How do I claim funding and incentives?
There is a range of funding and incentives currently available to cover the costs of recruiting and training an apprentice or trainee. It is easier to claim your funding through the apprenticeship service. You will need to register on the service to do this and as a smaller employer, you can reserve funds in the ‘finance’ section of your account. You can also give your training provider permission to reserve funds on your behalf.
Do I need to manage my account or can I ask someone else to do this on my behalf?
You have the option of managing the account yourself or of instructing a training provider with an existing government contract such as GP Strategies to take on administrative responsibility. We are happy to guide you and discuss these options in more detail.
GP Strategies can support you to set up your Apprenticeship Service account. Please see our Apprenticeship Service user guide for further guidance and support or call us on 0330 1000 610.