Available funding

If you’re taking on an apprentice, you’ll likely be wondering how much it will cost the business, weighing it up against the benefits that an apprentice could bring.

We look at the funding available for employers, whether your business is classed as large (with an annual payroll of more than £3 million), or small (with an annual payroll of under £3 million).

Are you thinking about training and employing an apprentice but worried about the cost? 

There’s no need to worry, because you could get extra cash to help pay for things.

  • The government and other agencies offer funding, financial support and loans for employers looking to employ an apprentice.
  • The funding available will depend on the size of your organisation, whether you’re considered a small or large employer, and your business’s location.

The good news is that there are incentive payments and support available for both small and large employers.

Who pays an apprentices wages?

Employers are responsible for paying apprentices just like any other member of staff, with wages set at the National Minimum depending on their age and how far into the apprenticeship they are.

In their first year of training, all apprentices must be paid at least £4.81 an hour from April 2022, rising to the current rate for the age once they have completed their first year. Apprenticeship rates and National Minimum Wage rates will increase annually every April.

Government Incentive Apprenticeship Funding

There’s a £1,000 government grant available for employers that take on apprentices between 16-18 years old.

This payment applies for all new 16-18 year old apprentices, plus it also includes those aged under 25 if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Do I need to pay the apprenticeship levy?

If your company wage bill costs less than £3 million a year, the good news is that:

  • You won’t need to pay towards the apprenticeship levy
  • You may only have to pay 5% towards the training and assessment of your apprentice.

The Government provides funding to pay for the rest, even paying 100% of the cost (up to the funding band maximum) for SME businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

This applies to all apprentices aged 16-18, and those aged 19-24 with an education plan provided by their local authority, and those in the care of a local authority.

Apprenticeship funding from Local Combined Authorities

Various local authorities have access to funds that have been donated from large organisations from their apprenticeship levy.

When selecting a training provider to deliver the training for your apprentice, make sure to ask them if they have any available funding through their local authority. We can help you with this.

Apprentice Funding with CITB Grants and Levy

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) pays grants for attendance and achievements on approved intermediate and advanced apprenticeships in England, Wales and Scotland.

This grant for intermediate and advanced level apprenticeships covers:

  • Off-the-job attendance with an approved apprenticeship provider.
  • Achievement of an apprenticeship framework, including advanced apprenticeship frameworks.
  • Achievement of an End Point Assessment (EPA) of a new apprenticeship standard (England only).

You can claim if you’re levy-registered with CITB and up to date with your levy returns. You also need to meet their general Grants Scheme terms and conditions. You can find all of the relevant information on the funding available and how to apply by visiting the CITB website

Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Funding Options

Employers who pay the apprenticeship levy and have unused apprenticeship funds can transfer a maximum of 25% of their annual levy funds. 

Levy paying employers can work with employers that they currently work with within their supply chain. They can also get in touch with other employers in their industry, work with regional partners or even get in touch with an Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA).

What apprenticeship levy transfers can pay for

Transferred funds will be used to pay for the apprenticeship training and assessment costs, as agreed with the employer receiving the donation.

We can help you link with levy paying employers to receive levy transfer funds. If you’re a levy paying business looking to put your unspent levy to good use, we can also help you to find small employers that are looking for your support.

Table of Contents

Got any questions? We can help

If you have any questions about the cost of an apprenticeship to your business, the available funding options, or questions about the apprenticeship levy, we can help.

If you’re ready to start looking for an apprentice, our jobs board could help you find the perfect candidate for your business. Take a look at our jobs board now