Opening up Apprenticeship Opportunities

Getting a foothold in the world of work can be a daunting prospect, whichever stage you exit the education system. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to gain valuable work experience and contacts, acquire new skills and qualifications, and get that vital foot in the door.

Earning while you learn, apprenticeships remove barriers to hands-on training (unlike unpaid internships), instilling responsible money management habits. For employers, apprenticeships can help fill skill gaps, vital in a fast-moving society and retiring workforce. They’re also a great way to give back to the economy, helping the next generation gain skills, training, mentoring, motivation, and real-world experience.

Getting More Feet in the Door

While participating in an apprenticeship scheme can save money on training costs, many employers, especially in times of higher operating costs and tighter margins, simply don’t have the resources to commit to offering the places they would like.

At ICS, working with a wide range of workers, businesses, contractors and the self-employed, we’ve seen both the benefits of apprenticeships, and the frustrating waste of opportunities just out of reach. So we’re very proud to have signed up to a beneficial scheme which helps businesses pair up and donate sponsorship funds, enabling more companies to offer apprenticeship placements.

It’s administered by the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), the UK’s leading membership association for service providers to freelancers and contractors. Founded in 2008, they promote best practice, raising standards, and providing resources and support to help members and the wider sector. Recognised as the industry’s benchmark for compliance, FCSA Accreditation is only awarded, and renewed, after rigorous assessment by independent expert assessors. ICS have been fully accredited members of FCSA since 2017.

How It Works

Introduced in 2017, the Apprenticeship Levy share scheme is a government-backed programme that allows large employers to transfer a certain level of apprenticeship funds to other businesses, levelling the playing field and helping smaller businesses to take on apprentices and invest in their workforce.

Donating businesses (like ICS) register in the scheme, pledging an amount of sponsorship. Businesses seeking to offer apprenticeships apply for funding. Once approved, the funds are transferred to enable financing new apprentice placements, training and assessment. It really is that simple!

Spreading the Benefits

According to Government statistics, 337,140 intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships were started in 2022/23. These are broken into age groups from under 19, 19-24 and 25+, proving it’s never too late to start a new career path. With many more potential applicants, these figures show just how useful the Apprenticeship Levy can be, helping fund hundreds of different types of apprenticeships across many industries, from GCSE equivalent to degrees.

With first-hand experience of the value apprentices can bring to businesses, having employed several apprentices ourselves, ICS are proud to support the FCSA Apprenticeship Levy, helping bring fellow businesses and prospective employees looking to start or pursue new careers together.

Any companies keen but struggling to offer apprenticeship placements, find out more, including useful guides and information, here: And if you’re a would-be apprentice with a business in your sights, why not ask if they know about the FCSA Levy Network? It’s this kind of initiative that not only gets you a foot in the door, but a step up the ladder.

With more than 75 years of combined experience, ICS’s friendly, dedicated team are here to help with all employment, payroll, tax and paperwork queries. For no-obligation advice, simply call 01524 580720, or email