Government apprenticeship scheme extended and incentives increased

The government apprenticeship initiative has been improved and extended, meaning businesses taking on apprentices between 1 April and 30 September 2021 will be entitled to an even larger incentive payment than before.

Article summary: Employers will now receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation between April and September.

The previous scheme, which was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last August and ended on 31 March 2021, saw employers receive £2,000 for apprentices aged 16-24 and £1,500 for those aged 25 and over. 

You will need to create an account to manage your apprenticeship(s) and claim your incentive. Please note that you can still apply for the incentive for apprentices hired between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 up until 31 May 2021, so be sure to do so. Incentives for apprentices hired from the 1 April onwards can be applied for from 1 June. 

The bonus can be spent on anything to support your organisation’s costs such as uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary and it does not need to be paid back. Apprentices must be signed up and to have commenced employment by 30 September 2021 to be eligible.

Apprenticeships are a great way for employers to take on new staff, providing opportunities for growth during even the most challenging financial periods. They’re also great for the economy as apprentices will improve business efficiency as well as contribute to lowering the national unemployment rate.

Take-up of the generous initiative has been low so far with Department for Education data showing that as of 1 February 2021, only 25,420 employers had submitted claims for the bonus. The Treasury had budgeted for up to 100,000 incentive payments for new apprentice hires so when the initial scheme came to an end, they decided to extend the offer and make it more attractive.

This £3,000 payment will be in addition to the £1,000 payment provided for new apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, meaning that some employers could receive £4,000 in total per apprentice.

Sunak said: “Our Plan for Jobs has spread opportunity and hope throughout the crisis – helping people back into work and harnessing their talents for the future. We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping job seekers and employers alike.”

Why employ an apprentice?

  • You’ll receive a bonus of up to £3,000

  • Plug skills gaps created by COVID
    If the pandemic has impacted your business, you may have had to make changes to navigate the challenges. Perhaps you had to implement redundancies or restructure your business, creating skills gaps as your business changed to fit the new mould. An apprenticeship could enable you to gain the skills that your business currently lacks. 

  • Shape your business for the future
    By taking on an apprentice, you can take control of your organisation’s future. By investing your time in an apprentice, you can weave new skills into your business and take advantage of the fresh perspective that a new staff member would contribute. You can tailor an apprenticeship specifically to your business and train your new employee to suit your business needs. 

  • The training might not cost you a penny
    Thanks to the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, and the Co-funded models for smaller businesses, 95% to 100% of the apprentice training costs will be government-funded. The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in 2017 to create national funding for apprenticeships and enable businesses of all sizes to implement their own apprenticeship programmes.

  • You’ll be creating a job (or jobs) at a time when unemployment is high
    According to ONS figures released on 23 March, the UK unemployment rate stands at 5% - the highest figure for five years - and equates to 1.7 million people being out of work. Data shows that 693,000 fewer people were in payrolled employment in February 2021, compared to February 2020.

Supporting employers new to the apprenticeship service

From 1 April 2021 all new apprenticeships will be managed and funded using the apprenticeship service. The government have produced a comprehensive introduction video that takes you through the steps and explains:

  • What we do as your chosen training provider for the apprenticeship

  • What you need to do to get your apprenticeship service account in place

Take a look at the video and contact our team on 023 9253 8700 for further guidance and support.

Partner with PETA

If you’ve identified a skills gap within your business or you’d new staff trained with your business in mind, an apprenticeship is the ideal solution. At PETA, we will work with you to create an apprenticeship role that will fulfil your business needs and more.

We have a great reputation for delivering successful apprenticeship programmes, which is why the best employers choose to partner with us to recruit and train new staff in the roles they require. We offer apprenticeship programmes in the areas of IT and Digital, Business, Engineering and Management.

Apprenticeship training is flexible and can be adapted to the needs of your business. Using a framework of standards set with a training provider, you can train a new apprentice in your business practices, safe in the knowledge they are building the right skill set from day one.

At PETA, we have a highly experienced team on hand to help you with anything from developing your recruitment strategy to managing your apprenticeship funding, to ensure you maximise your investment in apprenticeships. There are many advantages of employing an apprentice and we’re on hand to chat these through with you if you wish.

To take advantage of the government apprenticeship incentive, your new apprentice must be signed up and have started in their new role by 30 September 2021. To find out more, please get in touch.


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