Helping you make
the most of the Apprenticeship Levy

Created and led by the IPA, Creative Pioneers2 is here to help agencies who want to make the most of the Apprenticeship Levy. It brings together best in class apprenticeship provision with industry leadership to create something unique for our members and their affiliated agencies.



We work with Agencies to plan for the levy, creating your bespoke timetable of apprenticeship programmes for the mix of employees that's right for you.

We work with Agencies to recruit new hires and onboard existing employees into apprenticeship programmes, at no extra cost.
Creative Pioneers2 delivers high quality, levy-compliant apprenticeship programmes that will make a bottom line difference.


We offer you the expertise the IPA has built through Creative Pioneers 1 (nearly 600 apprenticeships in 100+ agencies since 2012) powered by the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ capabilities of Arch, the country’s leading provider of digital, media and technology apprenticeships.


The Levy is a new Government initiative starting in April 2017 to solve the connundrum in which UK employers say they do not have the skills they need to invest much less in training than OECD peers.

HMRC will take 0.5% of payroll (above £3m) monthly and put it into a digital account via the Apprenticeship Service as electronic vouchers that employers can use but only for approved apprenticeship training programmes. Vouchers will expire after 2 years: ‘use it or lose it”!

The good news is that the range of available programmes and their quality is growing and now pretty much everyone is eligible.


Apprenticeships funded through the levy are a big opportunity for Agencies, because of who can be trained through apprenticeship and the growth of relevant and tailored apprenticeship programmes for our sector.

Who can be trained

  1. School leavers/people right at the start of their career
  2. Graduates
  3. Business-as-usual hires in the first 2-4 years of their career
  4. Existing employees who need to re/up-skill

Big Wins

Diversity: hire school leavers who aren’t from ‘central casting’
Better recruitment and retention: job+training = more attractive job (easier to hire into), then visibly invest in people so they don’t want to job-hop
Future proof your skill base: upskill existing staff

What apprenticeship programmes are there?

This is going to be a continually shifting picture!  Lots of new programmes are under development and/or awaiting approval from Government.  

For now, look at these 3 programmes to be the base for the first 6 months of your levy: Digital Marketer, Junior Content Producer and Data Analyst.  These cover a broad range of roles and will enable most agencies to get going with valuable and relevant training programmes.

You should also look at ‘back office’ apprenticeships in IT, Finance and HR (although on the last we are still awaiting final approval of the programmes by Government).

Ones that have not yet been developed but that Creative Pioneers2 is leading the development of are Media Planning & Buying and Advertiser (working title).

Some are right for people at entry level, others for those a few years in and looking to turbo-charge their progress and yet others are suitable for fast rising managers.


The Levy begins in April 2017, to fund apprenticeships starting in May. Plan now to eliminate the Levy headache and get maximum return.

Download our How to Plan for the Levy guide.

Creative Pioneers Metro IPA Creative Industries Arch