Well this is quite a popular question - and a bit of a grey area, so you are not alone!
To gain some clarification, we contacted the National Apprenticeship Service regarding the rules about upskilling existing staff. Here's what they said:
“When using the apprenticeship levy to upskill existing members of staff, it is not a requirement to change the employee's job title or contract of employment. However, the employer would have to ensure that there is an Apprenticeship Agreement that has been signed by both the Employer and the Apprentice. They would also have to ensure that a Commitment Statement has been signed by the Employer, Apprentice and the Training Provider. You can find information for the Commitment Statement, as well as a template for the Apprenticeship Agreement, on the link below:
So existing employees don’t need to be ‘promoted’ or have their titles officially changed, but they must have an Apprenticeship Agreement and Commitment Statement in place.
This is a super useful page giving you all the steps you need to take on an apprentice: https://www.gov.uk/take-on-an-apprentice
I hope that helps!
If any employers have successfully utilised the levy to help train existing staff we'd love to hear your thoughts on the process.
With best wishes,
The findcourses.co.uk team