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Sunderland Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Scheme

Update October 2023

The scheme is temporarily closed until May 2024 as Sunderland City Council has fully committed what it is able to transfer for the financial period 2023/2024.

Please check back in May 2024 when there will be an update regarding the scheme and if the council is in a position to review new applications for approval.

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in May 2017 to help create a skilled UK workforce and put employers at the centre of the training system.

Large employers with an annual pay bill of £3million or more pay the levy which can be drawn back to pay the training and assessment costs of apprenticeships. For smaller organisations below this threshold the government pays 95% of the costs of training and assessing the apprentice, with the employer making up the remaining five percent.

Organisations which pay the Apprenticeship Levy, including Sunderland City Council, can transfer a proportion of any unspent levy to other employers to fund the training and assessment costs of a new apprenticeship start. This can be either an existing employee or a new recruit to your business.

As a result, the council has identified funding that is available for transfer and is seeking applications from businesses in the city in need of apprenticeship levy funding to develop their own workforce.  Organisations must either be non-levy payers or have fully committed their own levy funds in order to apply for additional funds from the council under the transfer scheme.

Levy Transfer Funding Rules

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published a set of guidelines around the transfer of levy funds: Please refer to the ESFA general guidance on apprenticeships levy transfer (opens new window).

Please Note:

  • Transferred funds can only be used to pay for the training and assessment costs of approved apprenticeship standards (opens new window). Transferred funds cannot be used to fund apprenticeship training delivered by a framework
  • Any employer wishing to use transferred funds must set up an account (opens new window) with the Apprenticeship Service and have a signed agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • Transfers can only be used for new apprenticeship starts, except where the apprentice is changing employer and an agreement to continue their apprenticeship with their new employer is through a transfer of levy funds

Sunderland City Council Priorities for Workforce Development

The Council is keen to support Level 3 Apprenticeships or above in key sectors of the economy which lead to skilled and well-paid employment. To this end recipient organisations will be located in the Sunderland City Council local authority area and be engaged in one of four priority sectors:

  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Digital and Creative
  • Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
  • Financial and Customer Services

As mentioned earlier, the Levy Transfer is not limited to apprenticeships for newly recruited apprentices, but it is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to upskill existing members of staff.  Please note; staff with existing qualifications are also eligible to receive apprenticeship training in a different subject area. Your selected training provider will be able to offer you further advice around this area.

Those businesses whose applications are successful will be encouraged to support the council's work to raise positive awareness of the levy transfer scheme and of wider skills development across the city.

Levy Transfer Application Process

There are three steps to complete before applying to the council for an Apprenticeship Levy Transfer:

You are now ready to complete the Sunderland Apprenticeship Levy Transfer application form.



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