Apprenticeship Levy 2017 – Ahead of the Game



A change in the way that government funds apprenticeships in England comes into force as of April 2017. These changes will result in some employers being obligated to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and all employers will witness changes to the way apprenticeship training is funded.

The apprenticeship levy will work by the following criteria: Employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million will be required to spend 0.5% of the total on the levy. However, it is not so simple; the Government is also introducing a “levy allowance” (£15,000 per year) which will be subtracted from the 0.5% total.

Simply put, the apprenticeship levy is aimed to encourage an initiative set out by Government’s 2015 Summer Budget, that is; to support the demand for major increases in apprentices by 2020, as well as to address the decreased focus on employee training outside of the workplace. The levy requires employers to invest in apprenticeships, with the size of the investment dependent on the size of the business.

Apprenticeship Levy 2017 - How the levy will work


Here at Forest, we are ahead of the game. We have advocated apprentices as well as placement students for many years. We currently have three apprentices in our Salford factory, who are training to become skilled upholsterers. Additionally, we are soon to celebrate the recruitment of two new apprentices into our office space, as trainee Marketing Executives. These marketing apprentices will deal with the retail side of our company, including:

The English Bed CompanyThe English Sofa CompanyThe Chesterfield Company

Some of our most successful and long serving employees are previous apprentices or placement students:

Name: Chris Allen
Type: Apprentice
Age: 24
Chris started as a Level 2 Business Administrations apprentice and has been with us now for 6 years. Over the years Chris has impressed us so much so, that he has worked his way up to a Senior Sales Manager, and is enjoying a long lasting and successful career with Forest Contract.

Name: Kim Walker
Type: Placement
Age: 28
Kim started her career at Forest by capitalizing on the opportunity to take a placement year with her Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Manchester Metropolitan University. Kim has recently returned from maternity leave to continue with her success as our Retail Sales Manager.

This goes to show how important we think apprentices are, and with the right guidance and training, they can truly be a great asset to any company. We at Forest are so proud of what our apprentices have achieved – keep up the good work!


We are proud to work closely with North Lancashire Training Group Ltd and B2W Complete Training Group, providing us with the young talent who will end up as skilled and knowledgeable upholsterers.
Similarly, we work alongside Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford to help train the stars of the future. Our apprentices whether operating in the factory or working in the office make a real contribution to our company, and have a lot of responsibility from the get-go.