As the fiscal year comes to a close, levy sponsors find themselves at the crucial juncture of determining how to allocate their unspent levy for the upcoming financial year. This decision not only shapes the financial landscape of their organisation but also presents an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on education and workforce development.   

Taking a cue from successful partnerships, such as the one between Lloyds Banking Group and St. Bart’s Multi-Academy Trust, corporate sponsors can strategically channel their unspent levy to create positive change within the heart of a school and/or community environment. 

What is the apprenticeship levy? 

Firstly, let’s quickly recap the basics. The Apprenticeship Levy is a government initiative aimed at encouraging employers to invest in the training and development of their workforce. If your business has an annual pay bill exceeding £3 million, you are required to contribute 0.5% of that bill to the Apprenticeship Levy. 

The importance of planning ahead 

The importance of strategic planning cannot be overstated when it comes to planning how to use unspent levy funds. Waiting until the middle of the year may limit the options available and hinder the ability to establish impactful partnerships. Organisations should take a proactive approach, initiating discussions with potential partners like us early on and aligning their levy spending with long-term strategic goals. 

Case study: Lloyds’ transformative partnership with St. Bart’s Multi-Academy Trust 

In 2022, Lloyds Banking Group had their biggest levy share to date after Primary Goal secured £580,000 of apprenticeship levy funding for St. Bart’s Multi-Academy Trust. The main goal was to support the Digital Champion Programme, resulting in over 40 educators benefiting from tailored training and hands-on guidance. Fast forward to the present, and the impact of this partnership has been nothing short of incredible. 

The Digital Champion Programme, designed by Primary Goal, has not only equipped educators with the necessary digital skills but has also instilled confidence in integrating technology seamlessly into their teaching methods and back-office practice. The positive ripple effect extends beyond the classroom, influencing the entire school community. When educators feel confident navigating the digital landscape, it translates into more engaging and interactive lessons for students, providing practical digital skills for the students, supporting parents to feel confident their child is safe when online at home and deliver digital training for governors and wider community groups. 

The success of the programme even caught the attention of local Members of Parliament, Jonathan Gullis and Jack Brereton, who visited the schools to witness firsthand the direct impact of the Digital Champions. This not only showcased the effectiveness of the initiative but also highlighted the collaborative efforts between the corporate sector and the education system. 

Bringing together Industry and education is the driving force for good, sharing levy funding enables our educational professionals to develop confidence using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence in their day to day role, accessing and delivering lessons using technology in the classroom, streamlining school processes, policies and procedures with simple automation tools designed to save them time and protect precious front line teacher resources.   

Case study: Digital Champion Tri Stakeholder Partnership 

Last year we were delighted to partner with Amey, who provided £390,000 of apprenticeship levy funding, for Primary Goal’s Flagship Digital Champion Programme to be delivered to The Discovery Trust.  

Primary Goal have been working directly with The Discovery Trust, enabling them to enhance and build on their current digital journey for their staff, through the Digital Champion programme.  

Jon Hornagold, Apprenticeship Manager, said; “As a large organisation, it’s very important to Amey to be able to share some of our levy where we can, to areas around the country. In a school setting such as this, it is fantastic to see the impact the funding will have”.  

Paul Stone, CEO of Discovery Schools Academy Trust, said; “The Discovery Trust is a partnership of 13 primary schools and two special schools. We were completely blown away and were just speechless when we first found out about the funding. Primary Goal has really helped us as a Trust”, they are an integral partner in making sure this funding and investment has real impact on children’s lives”. 

Apprenticeship levy: Is the Digital Champion programme right for you? 

For levy sponsors contemplating how to spend their unallocated funds, the Digital Champion Programme serves as a programme well worth considering. The emphasis on tailored digital training and practical specialist guidance ensures that the investment directly addresses the needs of educators to meet the DFE Meeting digital and technology standards in schools and colleges – Guidance – GOV.UK ( as well as offering a vehicle to support with a greener environment and sustainability pathway in every school. Sustainability leadership and climate action plans in education – GOV.UK ( 

Primary Goal offer a proven track record in facilitating successful partnerships and are ready to guide levy payers through the process. Our expertise in maximising the impact of apprenticeship levy funding ensures that sponsors not only fulfil their financial obligations but also actively contribute to the betterment of education and workforce development. 

Corporate responsibility  

Beyond the immediate benefits of investing in training programmes, organisations can showcase their commitment to corporate responsibility. By redirecting unspent levy funds back into education, sponsors contribute to the development of a skilled workforce and support the growth of local communities. 


Interested in finding out more about apprenticeship levy or helping your team improve their digital skillset? Enquire here to find out more.  

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Primary Goal aims for every learner to receive the highest quality learning experience, enabling personal growth and the opportunity for further career and study progression.