Apprenticeship Levy, Fundraising

Making the most of the Apprenticeship Levy for you and your fundraising team

20 July 2021

Traditionally, organisations have had to pay large sums of money to receive ‘quality training’. From inflexible and generic courses, to sub-par qualifications, training and development programmes have often come with a high price tag, and given little in return.

What if we told you that you could have access to proven, sector-leading training and development opportunities for your team, without the additional cost?

At Corndel, we are redefining how charities and non-profit organisations develop and upskill their leaders, digital teams and fundraising professionals through the Government Apprenticeship Levy.

Apprenticeships for the third sector

  1. What is an apprenticeship?
    The definition of an apprenticeship is simply the combination practical training in a job and formal study.

  2. Who are apprenticeships for?
    Apprenticeships have changed significantly since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, and are now often used to train, develop and upskill existing staff as well as new recruits. From someone’s first year, to their first decade, apprenticeship programmes are ways to enhance and refine skills, and help individuals take the next step in their professional development.

  3. What kind of apprenticeships are there?
    There are more than 1500 different apprenticeship programmes, starting at Level 2 (Intermediate) through to Level 7 (Degree Apprenticeships), which cover a range of disciplines, and all levels can be funded through the Levy. At Corndel, we design high-quality content for our apprenticeship programmes, delivered by expert coaches, to ensure our learners always receive sector leading training.

  4. Can you still work full time whilst on an apprenticeship programme?
    Absolutely! The main purpose of apprenticeships is to be able to upskill and train people, as they work. Whilst Government funding rules dictate that 20% of a learner’s contracted hours must be spent on their Apprenticeship programme, we appreciate that fundraising can be unpredictable and charities can often be time-poor. On a Corndel programme, through a mix of peer workshops, bite-size portfolio development and one-to-one coaching, we ensure each learner is able to reach their 20%, whilst balancing their day-to-day role. Our diplomas are designed to run alongside an employee’s usual responsibilities, where new knowledge and skills are put into practice throughout the programme.

  5. Can the programme be tailored to my organisation?
    At Corndel, we have two options for some of our programmes, including our Fundraising Diploma:
    - Open Cohort – a learning group made up of individuals from a variety of charities.
    - Closed Cohort – groups of 10-20 learners from the same charity.
    Whilst on either type of cohort, through one to one coaching, choice of project work, and adaptations to learning styles and needs, we ensure that are programmes are bespoke to individual learners. However, for closed cohorts we are able to work more closely with charities to develop tailored sessions and subject spotlights based on organisational needs.

  6. What do learners receive at the end of their apprenticeship programme?
    On completion of a Corndel programme, learners will be awarded a Corndel Diploma at the level of your apprenticeship. Corndel also partners with prestigious institutes where learners will also be accredited. For instance, the Corndel Fundraising Diploma is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and learners will also be awarded with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising Level 3 Foundation Certificate upon completion of the programme, as well as free membership to the Institute throughout the duration of the diploma.

How the Apprenticeship Levy works

  1. What is the Apprenticeship Levy?
    The apprenticeship levy was introduced in 2017 as a government scheme to fund training and development opportunities through apprenticeships.

  2. Who has to pay the Levy?
    If you’re an employer based in England with a salary bill in excess of £3 million each year, you will be paying the Apprenticeship Levy via HMRC, and these funds will be held in a Digital Apprenticeship Service account. In terms of numbers, if you have over 110 employees across the whole of your organisation, chances are you will be paying into the Apprenticeship Levy.

  3. How can I spend the Levy?
    The Apprenticeship Levy can only be spent on Government-approved training providers (such as Corndel) who deliver Apprenticeship Standard training. Courses such as Corndel’s Fundraising, Leadership and Management and Data Analytics diplomas are all fully funded Levy programmes.

  4. What happens to unspent Levy?
    Organisations have 24 months to spend their Apprenticeship Levy. Any remaining Levy that is unspent after 24 months, will be lost. Currently, there is a large underspend of the Apprenticeship Levy. Between May 2020 and February 2021 alone, over £1billion of Levy funds expired, unused. The unspent funds are kept within the Government apprenticeship scheme and reinvested to allow smaller organisations to be subsidized (see below). However, the volume of unspent Levy means that thousands of eager professionals are not receiving incredible training opportunities available each year through the apprenticeship scheme.

  5. What if my organisation is too small to pay into the Levy?
    Any organisation with an annual pay bill of less than £3m can still access apprenticeship funding. Through reserve funding, the government will fund 95% of an apprenticeship programme, so the employer only needs to fund the remaining 5%. For example, the cost of the Corndel Fundraising Diploma is £8,000. Per participant, your organisation would pay just £400 for the programme, spread over the length of the course, and the Government would fund the remaining £7,600.

  6. What is Levy transfer?
    Employers who pay into the Apprenticeship Levy, have the ability to transfer 25% of their Levy fund to another organisation. For charities and non-profits, this is a great way to work with corporate partners and an opportunity to align further with their CSR strategies.
Take the next step in Levy-funded training
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