beneath the plans, only those businesses with a wage bill of £3 million or higher will be liable for the levy, at a rate of 0.5% of payroll. The levy will be used to fund ‘digital accounts’ from which employers will be competent to pay for apprenticeship training, while smaller businesses and additional apprentices for those that wish to spend more than what is in their account will possess 90% of the costs of training paid for by the government.

Additional support will be available for businesses taking on apprentices aged between 16 and 18 and young care leavers, according to the consultation. In addition, the government will fully fund training for these apprentices for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

The plans set out in the consultation will apply to employers in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland possess their own apprenticeship funding schemes. Where a business operates cross-margin, funding will be available through the English scheme if the apprentice’s workplace is in England, according to the consultation.

The consultation closes on 5 September, and the government intends to confirm the final funding proposals in October.

Skills minister Robert Halfron said that the levy was an “absolutely crucial” piece of ensuring that “public of entire ages and backgrounds possess a chance to get on in life”.

“Apprenticeships grant young public – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – a ladder of opportunity,” he said.

“Our businesses can only develop and compete on the earth stage if they possess the correct public, with the correct skills. The apprenticeship levy will aid create millions of opportunities for individuals and employers. This will grant our young public the chance they deserve in life and to build a highly-skilled future workforce that the UK needs,” he said.

The consultation envisages an apprenticeship funding system made up of 15 “bands”, each with an upper limit ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. entire existing and fresh apprenticeship frameworks and standards will be assigned to unit of these bands. The upper limit of each funding band will hat the maximum amount of funding that a levy-paying employer can employ towards and individual apprenticeship, or that a non-levy paying employer will be competent to access from the government.

The government intends to create a fresh register of training providers, which will be ready for employ from April 2017. Employers will be competent to employ this register to identify a lofty-quality training provider that best meets their needs. beneath the fresh scheme, employers will also possess the power to decide exactly what training their apprentices receive and which provider they receive it from.

The levy will apply across entire fields of business, including those that already possess industry-specific levy-funded apprenticeship training programmes in place. The Industry Trading Boards for the engineering construction and film industries will consult their members on potential changes to the existing levy arrangements, the government said; while the Construction Industry Trading Board (CITB) has already agreed a transition package for those employers due to pay both levies ahead of formal proposals for reform anticipated shortly.

Some businesses and business bodies had urged the government to procrastinate implementation of the fresh levy until the impact of the recent vote to depart the EU on employers was better known. Responding to the proposals, the CBI in particular urged the government to “seize a step behind from the political timetable and consider what is best for building the skills of our young public”.

“The April 2017 begin date will not grant firms sufficient season to prepare, so we exhort the government to procrastinate implementation,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director general.