Registrations for the Digital Apprenticeship Service are now open plus SFA employer agreement

New government information released today: registrations open for Digital Apprenticeship Service and legal agreement to enable funding

The government have released information that the Department for Education and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are from today (13 February 2017) encouraging large employers to sign up and register for the apprenticeship service, in readiness for the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy on 6 April 2017.

The apprenticeship service is an online digital system that has been set up to support the Apprenticeship Levy.

The levy will require employers, with a wage bill of over £3 million a year, to pay 0.5% of their wage bill into the apprenticeship service, to encourage them to invest into apprentices.

The online service then allows those employers to financially manage their apprenticeship programme and help them to estimate their financial spend and recruit apprentices through their training providers. It will help employers:

  • focus on their business priorities
  • address skills shortages head on
  • invest in the skills and training to help their organisations succeed.

Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service said:

“The Apprenticeship Levy will come into effect in April 2017 to put apprenticeship funding on a sustainable footing and fund growth in the apprenticeship programme.”

“Employers have told us that they want to be in control of their apprenticeship programme and funding. They want to manage it quickly and easily, so we have designed the apprenticeship service to do just that.”

“It’s really quick to set up an account, and employers that have already registered during our testing phase have told us how easy they found it.”

To register, levy-paying employers should have:

  • their Government Gateway login details for PAYE schemes they want to include
  • the details for each organisation that will be making an agreement with a training provider for apprenticeship training, including Companies House or charity number

For more guidance, visit the register to manage your apprenticeship funds page.

The apprenticeship service

Through the apprenticeship service, all levy-paying employers can:

  • manage – using the estimate my apprenticeship funding tool to estimate their levy or co-investment contribution, begin to plan their training requirements and estimate their financial spending

All levy-paying and non-levy paying employers can:

  • find – ‘find apprenticeship training’ gives employers easy-to-digest information on the choices available to them – employers can search for and find an appropriate standard or framework, a quality-assured training provider, and compare one provider with another
  • recruit – through the recruit an apprentice service, training providers can post vacancies for apprenticeships and traineeships on behalf of employers – this will be opened up to employers at a later date.

Legal agreement to enable spending

The government have also announced the employer agreement with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to pay training providers to carry out apprenticeship training. Employers must agree to all the terms and conditions in this agreement and the funding rules; before funds can be used to pay for apprentices.

Once employers sign this agreement they’ll be able to authorise SFA to pay for apprenticeship training and end-point assessment with the training provider they have chosen to manage their apprenticeships. For a full overview of the SFA agreement for employers, click here.

For more information on the Apprenticeship Levy, visit our employers’ page or contact us at

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