You can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training.
The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not. You pay the levy if you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year
Depending on your answer to the question below, we’ll show you relevant information about government funding.
As an employer that doesn’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.
You’ll pay the training provider directly and agree on a payment schedule.
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.
If your apprentice started before 1 April 2019, you pay 10% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice and the government pays the rest. This rate continues until your apprentice completes their training.
Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice
To help businesses offer new apprenticeships, employers will be able to claim an incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021
For every apprentice that is a new employee to your business, you will get up to £2,000 if they are aged 16 to 24 and up to £1,500 if they are 25 or over.
The incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice is designed to support employers to find the skills they need to help recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 whilst creating new jobs.
Employers can also receive an additional payment of £1,000 if the apprentice starts the apprenticeship aged:
- 16 to 18
- 19 to 24 years old and has an education, health and care plan provided by their local authority or has been in the care of their local authority
Hire an apprentice who has been made redundant
You can also use a new government service to help you hire apprentices who have been made redundant
Many of these apprentices may already have the skills and knowledge you need. Hiring a new apprentice in this way could mean you have a work-ready apprentice who can quickly add value to your business, shortening the time you’ll see a return on your investment.
It also means you are supporting an apprentice to complete their training and achieve their apprenticeship.
If you hire an apprentice that has been made redundant, you can apply for incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice.
Paying your apprentice
You’re responsible for paying your apprentice for their normal working hours and any training they do as part of the apprenticeship.
You must pay them at least the National Minimum Wage rate depending on their age and the year of apprenticeship training they’re in.
The rates from April 2020 are:
19 to 20
21 to 24
25 and over
|In 1st year||£4.15||£4.15||£4.15||£4.15|
|Have completed 1st year||£4.15||£6.45||£8.20||£8.72|
Receiving a transfer of levy funds
Employers who pay the apprenticeship levy can choose to transfer any unused funds to another employer, using the apprenticeship service.
This would help them to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment.
You can find employers who may want to transfer funds by:
- speaking to training providers
- working with employers in your supply chain
- getting in touch with employers in your industry
- working with regional partners
A levy-paying employer can transfer a maximum of 25% of their levy funds.
Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice
Information about incentive payments for employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021.
We have introduced payments to support employers who hire new apprentices between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021.
We will make this payment in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:
- aged 16 to 18 years old
- under 25 with an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority
What you’ll get
Employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 will receive a payment of:
- £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24
- £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over
You’ll get the payment in 2 equal instalments. You’ll receive 50% after the apprentice completes 90 days of their apprenticeship and the remaining 50% after the apprentice completes 365 days. To receive the full payment, the apprenticeship must last for at least one year.
We’ll ask for your organisation’s bank details when you apply, so that we can pay you directly.
What you can use the payment for
The payment is different to apprenticeship levy funds so you can spend it on anything to support your organisation’s costs. For example, on uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary. You do not have to pay it back.
You can only apply for this payment for new apprentices who started their contract of employment between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021.
How to apply
You can apply for an incentive payment after you have added new apprentices to your apprenticeship service account.
You can also apply for the payment if you recruit apprentices who have been made redundant, as long as they’re new to your organisation and they were hired between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021.
Create an account or sign in to your existing account to claim an incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice
Find out more about how to register and use the apprenticeship service as an employer.
When you’ll get paid
We’ll pay your organisation in 2 equal instalments for each apprentice. Before we can make a payment, the training provider must confirm to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) that an apprentice has completed:
- 90 days of their apprenticeship for the first instalment
- 365 days of their apprenticeship for the second instalment
We’ll make payments by Bacs on the 14th working day of the month. Bacs payments usually take 3 working days.
You can view your estimated payment dates for each apprentice in your apprenticeship service account