Non-levy payers can now use the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS)
The moment we’ve all been waiting for... sort of.
The Digital Apprenticeship Service was introduced in February 2017 as part of the apprenticeship reforms. The online portal was purpose-built for employers so they had one place to manage their levy payments, access funds and search for training providers. It was only brought out for levy-paying employers to start with – those with a wage bill over £3 million who contribute to the levy. But now, the SMEs get an invite.
But there’s a catch.
As this is just a test phase, employers have to meet a strict set of criteria to get involved.
The ESFA has only invited small- and medium-sized employers who have an apprenticeship vacancy that starts in August, September or October 2019. The employer must also already be working with a training provider that offers training to other non-levy employers. And they must have apprenticeship funding available to spend.
These limitations are quite... limiting. But this is only a trial run, so it’s the first step in the right direction. This testing session is only open until 5th July 2019, and there’ll be another round of testing for employers who have apprenticeships starting in November or December 2019. Then the official DAS launch is planned for early 2020, so watch this space!
How to apply to test the DAS
There's only a limited number of places available on a first come, first served basis – so if you’re a non-levy employer and want to get on the DAS, you have to act quick. Employers can register themselves, or you can ask your training provider to apply on your behalf.
To find out more about the Digital Apprenticeship Service, download our employer starter pack. It’ll tell you everything you need to know about hiring an apprentice – from funding to ROI.