Apprenticeship Levy: just around the corner but still some way to go


By Giles Orr, CIPFA Director, Learning Delivery and Partnerships

With less than one month to go until those of us whose pay bill exceeds £3m start paying into the Apprenticeship Levy, are we all in a state of readiness?

If CIPFA’s own experience, and the current conversations with our members and the public sector organisations with whom we work, are any reflection of the state of the nation, then the answer is not quite ‘yes’.

However, operating within a resource-constrained, complex and rapidly changing landscape is nothing new to public service organisations, and as some of the key dates of the reforms loom large, we’re seeing a sector which is rising equally to the challenges and the opportunities presented.

Though there are many questions still to be asked and answered around the levy and the proposed new Level 7 Professional Accountant standard, there is a voracious appetite across the sector to capitalise on the changes that are providing wider opportunities for employers to train finance and accountancy apprentices.

During National Apprenticeships Week, CIPFA has committed to continue its support for public sector finance apprenticeships, with our intention to deliver the new Level 7 Professional Accounting Apprenticeship Standard, once approved.

CIPFA, along with the UK’s other accountancy bodies, is at the forefront of these initiatives and we’re actively supporting organisations as they develop their finance and accountancy training through the new Level 7 apprenticeship.

As the days roll on, we’re continuing to meet with and hear from employers on the major questions, concerns and opportunities.

As we do so, we’re developing an increasingly coherent framework on how CIPFA can practically support organisations in delivering experts in public finance, and the first generation of professional accountants to qualify through an apprenticeship.

If you’re in the midst of developing your strategy around the new apprenticeships, you can read how we’re planning to work with employers here on our website. You’ll also find an open invitation to get in touch with your questions.

We hope you feel able to take us up on that!