Apprenticeship Levy

Thursday 26 May 2016

Bedford College hosted a meeting of all apprenticeship providers in the region to hear details about a new Government levy on employers.

Mike Johnston, long established head of Shuttleworth College prior to it joining Bedford College in 2009 and now one of three Bedford College Vice Principals appointed in May 2016 by CEO Ian Pryce CBE, welcomed the visitors to The Mansion at Old Warden, near Biggleswade.

SEMLEP, the regional development authority for the South East Midlands which includes Milton Keynes and Northampton as well as Bedfordshire, had invited organisations to an Education Forum to hear a detailed breakdown of the first wave of the levy which comes into effect in less than 12 months (April 2017).

This will be applied to the top 2% of companies: those with a payroll of more than £3 Million, who will pay a percentage which will go into their Digital Apprenticeship “bank account”. The money can then be spent by those companies on apprenticeships, but only with registered providers.

Said Mike Johnston at the meeting: “Bedford College is a £36 Million education and training provider, with nearly 4,000 students aged 16 – 18. As such, we are the largest provider for young people in that age range who are heading towards employment.  We have over 1,500 apprentices currently with employers and more coming on board towards advanced and Higher Level apprenticeships.” 

“Our partner companies range from agriculture to engineering and advanced technology. We see that this new levy by the Government will necessitate closer collaboration with major employers.”

If you are interested in becoming an apprentice or would like to employ an apprentice go to

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