Apprenticeship grants

I'm taking an apprentice for my joinery company. Am I entitled to any government apprenticeship grants for my business?

The good news is that you can get assistance from the government. The funding can help you pay for apprenticeship training and assessment or you can get an apprentice incentive payment which you can use to support your business.

Apprenticeship training and assessment

For training and assessment, the amount of funding you receive depends on whether you pay for the apprenticeship levy. You should be paying the levy if you’re an employer with a pay bill of over £3m a year.

If you do not pay the levy, you will contribute five per cent towards the training costs of your apprentice. You’ll need to agree a payment schedule with your training provider – and you’ll be paying them directly for the training.

The government will pay 95 per cent up to the funding band maximum. They will also pay directly to the training provider. You may be eligible for additional funding depending on you and your apprentice’s circumstances.

You’ll contribute 10 per cent towards the cost of your apprentice’s training and assessment if your apprentice started before April 1 2019. The government pays the remaining 90 per cent. 

If you do pay the apprenticeship levy, you’ll receive funds to train and assess your apprentices, with the government paying ten per cent. The way you get your funding and training will depend on which part of the UK you’re in. Click on the appropriate link for apprenticeship info in: 

Incentive payment

You can also claim an incentive payment for new apprentices who join your organisation. Claim £3,000 for apprentices who start between April 1 2021 and September 30 2021. The closing date for applications is November 30 2021. The money can be used on anything that supports your business costs and it doesn’t need to be paid back. 

The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 you’ll receive for taking on an apprentice who is 16-18 years old or under 25 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority. Note that you can only get the full payment if the apprenticeship lasts for at least one year.

How do I keep track?

Sign up for a digital service account to pay for training or access your funds. You’ll be able to apply for an incentive payment once you’ve added new apprentices to your accounts.

If you pay the apprenticeship levy and use an apprenticeship training agency, you cannot use funds from your digital account to pay for the training agency’s services.

For more help, you can fill out an enquiry form from the national apprenticeship service for more information. You can also get more information or use the webchat service on the apprenticeship service employer support site.

Do I have any other options for apprenticeship grants?

Yes – some local authorities offer apprenticeship grants. Either look at your local authority’s website or check out 150 UK small business grants to apply for right now.

Further reading 

Hiring an apprentice: The benefits for a small company

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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