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UK Government apprenticeship levy

Scotland’s share of funding from the UK Government’s apprenticeship levy will support  a range of employment measures including the delivery of 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships starts each year by 2020 and the establishment of a new Flexible Workforce Development Fund to help employers up-skill and re-skill their workforce.

The apprenticeship levy is a new way of the UK Government raising funds directly from larger employers, a policy they announced in 2015 without consultation with the Scottish Government or employers, despite apprenticeship policy being a fully devolved matter.

While the Apprenticeship Levy will be a new tax on employers, its proceeds will largely be replacing existing apprenticeship funding in England, of which Scotland will receive a proportionate share in our Block Grant settlement.

While the levy will result in a small increase in the funding Scottish Government received from the UK Government previously in relation to apprenticeship activity, the fact that the public sector is required to pay the Levy will reduce Scottish Ministers’ spending power by £30m in 2017-18.

In direct response to the views of employers in Scotland, and reflecting on the Apprenticeship Levy consultation responses we received, all of the funds raised through the Apprenticeship Levy will be invested in skills, training and workforce development to meet the needs of employers, the workforce, young people  and Scotland’s economy.

This was set out in the Scottish Government’s response to the introduction of the UK Government Apprenticeship Levy, published on 16 December.


For employers who may be liable to pay the Apprenticeship Levy, HMRC published  guidance, 'When you have to pay Apprenticeship Levy and how to report your payments'.

Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Programme

The Scottish Government is proud of our Modern Apprenticeship Programme, which would not be the success it is without the commitment of employers across Scotland. The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board plays a key role in representing the voice of employers in shaping and influencing the future direction of Apprenticeship provision in Scotland.

Employers in Scotland do not have to wait for the UK Government Apprenticeship Levy to be collected by HMRC before engaging with the Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Programme.

Advice for employers who want more information about Scottish Apprenticeship Programmes, or are looking to offer apprenticeship opportunities, is available on the Skills Development Scotland apprenticeship website.

Information on other workforce development services available for employers can be found on the Our Skills Force website or call Skills Development Scotland on 0800 917 8000.