Apprenticeship Levy, Apprenticeships, News

Gifting the Apprenticeship Levy

04 March 2021 by Isla Lightfoot

In 2019 the Apprenticeship Levy raised £2.8 billion, but under a Freedom of Information request, the Department for Education reported that only £864m was spent. 

This is a differential of nearly £2bn worth of available Levy funding, that wasn’t spent. The BBC reports that from May to December 2019, 4,991 employer accounts gave up a total of £401m which they could have used to train apprentices. 

Larger employers often have programmes in place for their own employees and still have large surplus funds. That's why in April 2019 the Government introduced the option for companies to gift up to 25% of their annual Levy to other organisations.  

We are very proud that several Corndel client employers have donated their surplus Levy to a range of charities and smaller companies, so that they can address skills gaps and maximise organisational performance.  

Here we summarise how organisations can gift portions of their surplus Levy and examples of how effective this has been. 

How to gift the Levy 

As many Levy-paying employers were struggling to utilise their annual Levy fund, the government introduced in April 2019 the option to gift up to 25% of their annual Apprenticeship Levy to other organisations. Many companies have chosen to utilise the Levy to support their corporate social responsibility activities – by donating their Levy to their charity partners who can then spend this on relevant learning for their people.

Levy paying employers aren’t just restricted to charities, they can gift to any employer, which opens up the options of gifting to partners who are SMEs. Both the Levy funded employer and the recipient organisation must be registered on the apprenticeship service. These funds can only be used for apprenticeship training and assessment.

If you want to gift there Levy, as of September 2021, here are the ways in which you can do it:

  1. Pledge funds through the Government online service. This allows large organisations to pledge a total amount of Levy they wish to gift in a financial year. Charities and SME’s can then apply to receive money from the pledge based on the criteria set by the organisation.
  2. Gift your Levy directly to your charity partner through the Digital Apprenticeship Service by:
  • Selecting your charity/employer partner(s)
  • Your charity/employer partner contact must set up their digital account
  • Connect your digital accounts – this allows funds to be drawn down for the relevant training
  • Charity/employer partner creates training cohorts for relevant training
  • Gifting employer approves the cohorts

If you are a Corndel client, we can work with you to help identify gifting opportunities and match you with a charity partner(s). Please speak with your Account Manager, or email to find out more.

For more information on gifting or receiving a Levy visit:

Examples of gifting in action 

Charities have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and already tight budgets have been further reduced with many charities experiencing a devastating loss of funds at a time when they’ve also experienced increased demand for services. Analysis in June 2020 predicted a £6.4bn loss of income over the six months to December 2020 for the UK’s 170,000 charities, with one in 10 facing potential bankruptcy. Many of Corndel’s corporate clients, including Capita, Zurich Insurance, Mace, and G4S, have gifted their Levy to a range of their charity partnersThese charities have used the levy to upskill their people in areas including data analytics, project management, leadership and management and fundraising. 

Zurich Community Trust 

Zurich Community Trust offered 15 fundraisers from their charity partners, the opportunity to upskill by embarking on the Corndel Diploma in FundraisingMind in Haringey, The Diana Award, Spotlight UK, Dementia UK, Simon on the Streets, Society of St James, Better Things, KIDS, Carers Support Wiltshire and Phoenix Enterprises, are amongst some of the charities benefiting from the gift of their Levy.   

Over 13 months these learners will gain key skills and knowledge required to take an innovative approach to make up the revenue that their fundraising events generated pre-pandemic. They will graduate with a Corndel Diploma in Fundraising, accredited by The Chartered Institute of Fundraising. 


Capita has pledged to donate £1million of their Levy to support their SME and Charity partner organisations. They gifted £200,000 of their Levy to the NSPCC who has used it to develop twenty employees. Ten of these learners joined the Corndel Diploma in Data Essentials, and ten joined the Corndel Diploma in Fundraising, in November 2020. These learners have already started to add value in their current roles, as a result of this training.  

If you are a Corndel client and would like to find out more about gifting your Levy, please speak to your Account Manager.  

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