Hired a new apprentice? Don’t miss out on funding

If your annual pay bill is £3million or more, you’ll already be paying into your apprenticeship levy each month and will have access to your fund through your Digital Apprenticeship Service Account.

If you’re a non-levy employer and don’t pay the apprenticeship levy, you pay just 5% towards the cost of training and assessing an apprentice. The government will pay the rest up to the funding band maximum.

If you employ fewer than 50 employees, the government will pay 100% of the apprenticeship training costs up to the funding band maximum for apprentices aged:

  • 16 to 18
  • 19 to 24 with an education, health and care plan provided by their local authority or has been in the care of their local authority

If you exceed the funding band maximum, you’ll need to pay all the additional costs.

Government support is also available to employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021.

As well as the £1,000 you receive for hiring an apprentice, you’ll now get an extra payment of:

  • £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24
  • £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over

Funding will be paid in two parts.  50% after your apprentice has completed 90 days of their apprenticeship and the remaining 50%, once they’ve completed 365 days. To receive the full payment, the apprenticeship must last for at least one year.

This money can be used to support your business’ costs. For example, on uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary.

Useful information about apprenticeships and how your business could benefit:

Gov.uk - Government guidance

ICS Learn - 20% off job training guidelines

Institute for Apprenticeships - Apprenticeship finder England

Apprenticeship Certification Wales - Apprenticeship finder Wales

What are apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship is a programme that trains a student to become skilled in a trade or profession.  These students, apprentices, learn on the job and get paid a small wage.

The rates from April 2020 are:

Apprentice In 1st year Have completed 1st year
Under 19 £4.15 £4.15
19 to 20 £4.15 £6.45
21 to 24 £4.15 £8.20
25 and over £4.15 £8.72

Training is carried out by an approved training provider, this can be a college, university or a specific apprenticeship training provider until the apprentice completes their course.

There is a wide variety of apprenticeships to suit every business profession and specialism.  They are accessible, flexible and provide an alternative route to access to find fresh, new, sector-skilled talent whilst helping you to support and equip your business with the skills you need now and in the future.

Why consider apprenticeships for your business?

There are many benefits and opportunities for both you and your apprentice.

  • Boosting Productivity
    78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity.
  • Reduced employee turnover
    80% of employers report apprenticeships reduced employee turnover.
  • Save on recruitment costs
    Apprenticeships bypass the added recruitment costs associated with outsourcing or recruiting skilled labour.
  • Develop high calibre employees
    86% of employers said that apprenticeships helped to develop relevant skills and fill the skills gaps.
  • Cost effective training 
    Hiring an apprentice is a cost-effective way to support the development of new skills and talent in your business.

How it works

Here is a quick guide to get you started.

  • Step 1 - Establishing the need
    This could be at recruitment stage when working with a hiring manager.   Agree to advertise the role as an apprenticeship and hire a person specifically as an apprentice.

    Alternatively, through employee one-to-ones and personal development conversations, identify a need or desire of training. For example, when a person is newly promoted in a new role.

  • Step 2 - Identify training pathway
    After discussions with the relevant manager and HR teams, decide if an apprenticeship is the right option and agree the most appropriate pathway that supports goals and objectives. 

  • Step 3 - Register your interest
    Register your interest in employing an apprentice with the National Apprenticeship Service. 

  • Step 4 - Find a training partner
    Training is done by third party training providers.  Your candidate should be matched with an apprenticeship coach who’ll support them throughout their apprenticeship. 

  • Step 5 - Apply for a grant
    Check you're eligible for a grant and apply.

  • Step 6 - Advertise your apprenticeship 
    Your training partner will do this for you through apprenticeship vacancies. You can track your vacancies by registering as an employer.

  • Step 7 - Onboarding and the training schedule
    Apprenticeships take on average 12 months to complete.  Training is designed to complement job roles and responsibilities to ensure new skills, knowledge and behaviours are continuously applied to actual work-based scenarios.  

    Delivery of training is done through a variety of ways such as virtual one-to-one sessions, webinars and online tools. Training sessions are carried out at flexible times to suit everyone, reducing impact during busier periods.

    A schedule is agreed between the line manager and the apprentice to make sure there’s time set aside during the working week to complete any training-related tasks.  For example, completing written assignments, attending mentoring sessions, on the job training and any other activities specifically linked to the apprenticeship.  This is called 20% ‘off -the- job’ apprenticeship training.  It’s a mandatory requirement for all employers and apprentices.

Who can be an apprentice?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16 and there’s no upper age limit.

  • 52% of apprentices in the UK are aged 25 years and over
  • 30% are aged between 19 to 24 years old
  • 16 to 19-year olds only make up 18% of apprentices in the UK

Apprenticeships can be used as a cost-effective training and development tool to train staff at all levels across organisations from graduates, senior managers and even directors.