Apprenticeship funding changes all the time, inlight of the current Covid-19 pandemic and as part of the Governments #PlanForJobs new funding is available.

From August 2020 until the 31 January 2021, businesses taking on new apprentices will be rewarded with £2,000 for a 16 to 24-year-old and £1,500 for a 25 year-old.

Subject to the following criteria; (Don’t panic! we can go through all of this with you)

  • Employer has to be registered on the apprenticeship service in order to claim this directly from the ESFA,
  • Employer will only get the incentive for hiring a brand new member of staff from 01.08.2020 until 31.01.2021 (please note learners cannot be employed with that same employer within 6 months prior to their new employment contract start date to avoid companies firing and hiring in order to claim the incentive),
  • New employees that are eligible need to have an employment contract with a start date between 01.08.2020 – 31.01.2021,
  • Employers will be able to submit a claim to the government on the service from 01.09.2020,
  • Incentives will be split so they will receive half of the incentive as long as the learner remains in training for 90 days and the remaining half of the incentive at 365 days,
  • The ESFA will make the first payment for eligible apprentices who start in August along the eligible apprentices that start in September and these payments will start from January 2021,
  • The employer must make sure they have all the evidence before they can claim and get paid the incentive,
  • The ESFA will monitor take-up of incentive payments for hiring new apprentices to identify and challenge any potential fraud or irregularity.

Our team are on hand to guide you through the whole process, from initial enquiry through to completion and/or progression of training.

Requirements from you as an employer;

The employer must make sure they have the following in order to claim the incentive as the ESFA can ask at any time for evidence for the claim:

  • Confirmation of the apprentice’s date of birth
  • A copy of the apprenticeship agreement
  • A copy of the apprentice’s employment contract including their start date confirmation they were a new employee i.e. not previously employed by your organisation within the last six months. This could include evidence from payroll and / or vacancy adverts and recruitment documentation.
  • If relevant, confirmation that the apprentice had previously been made redundant from an apprenticeship starting before 1 August 2020. This must be a notice of dismissal, stating the reason as redundancy.

These new incentives are only available until January 31st 2021, if you are interested in more information on apprenticeships please contact us.

Who can access the new incentive payments?
The incentive payments apply to employers with a workforce in England who recruit an apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021. Provided the eligibility criteria are met, there will be no limit on the number of incentive payments you can claim.

What payments am I entitled to?
There will be two levels of payment based on age:
£2,000 for an apprentice aged 16-24
£1,500 for an apprentice aged 25 or over

When will I receive these payments?
You can claim these incentive payments from 1 September 2020. Claims must be made through the apprenticeship service, so make sure you have an account set up.
The payment will be made directly to you in two equal instalments, where the apprentice is still in learning at day 90 and day 365.

What if my apprentice has prior qualifications?
As long as the individual gains substantive new skills, and the content of the training is materially different from any previous training or apprenticeship, they can undertake an apprenticeship programme at a higher, equal or lower level than the qualification they already hold.
All prior learning will be considered when assessing eligibility, but apprentices with existing qualifications will not be excluded from the payment of incentives.

Do these incentives replace the additional payments already available for young apprentices?
No. Incentive payments are separate from – and therefore in addition to – payments that are currently available to help cover the costs associated with training a 16-18 year old apprentice, or an apprentice aged 19-24 who has previously been in care or has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Employers who recruit young apprentices in one of the above categories will continue to receive £1,000 in addition to the incentive payments. This means you could be eligible to receive up to £3,000 for each new apprentice you recruit.

The purpose of these incentives is to support employers to build capacity and capability following the disruption of Covid-19, while creating high quality opportunities for individuals and equipping them with skills that are in demand.

Contact our team if you would like to arrange a free information session with a member of our team.