Apprenticeships and your business

Employers hiring apprentices between 1 April and 30 September 2021 will receive from the government £3,000 each, regardless of age.

An additional £1,000 will be paid for those aged 16 to 18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan - meaning employers of these apprentices during the same time period will receive £4,000 each in total.

Contact us

We're here to help. Scroll to the bottom of this page for contact information.

 What's an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying assessment and skills development programme.

It is a way for individuals to earn while they learn, gaining valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role.

 Why hire an apprentice?

Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way for you to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Recent government reforms to the way apprenticeships are delivered and funded have created a wider range of high quality apprenticeships, more aligned to employers’ needs.


If your pay bill tops £3 million…

If you’re an employer with a pay bill of over £3 million a year, you automatically pay the apprenticeship levy. Levy funds receive a monthly 10% government top up and cover the costs of your apprenticeship training.

Non-levy paying employers with 50 employees or more…

If your pay bill is less than £3 million a year and you employ 50 or more people, the government will pay 95% of the training costs for any new apprentices you take on. 

If you have 49 employees or fewer…

If your pay bill is less than £3 million a year and you employ 49 or fewer people, the government will pay:

100% of the training costs for new 16-18 year-old apprentices 
100% of the training costs for new 19-24 year-old apprentices who are Care Leavers or have an Education, Health and Care Plan
95% of the training costs for all other new apprentices 

Also, you don’t need to pay National Insurance Contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 earning below the higher tax rate of £962 a week (£4,167 a month).

 Creating a GOV.UK account to manage apprenticeship funding

To get funding to pay for apprenticeship training you must first create an apprenticeship account at GOV.UK.

You’ll use your account to:

  • get apprenticeship funding
  • find and save apprenticeships
  • find, save and manage training providers
  • add and manage apprenticeships
  • apply for your incentive payment

Helping you create an account

 Supporting smaller employers to use the apprenticeship service

As detailed in the ESFA update, this summer, many smaller employers (annual pay bill of less than £3 million) will be using the apprenticeship service for the first time.

Please find below useful information to help you get started and benefit from a summer peak in interest from school and college leavers.

  • Create an apprenticeship service account. The time needed to set up an account varies depending on each employer’s situation. A support video is available to guide you here.
  • Reserve apprenticeship funds. It is essential that employers reserve funds through the apprenticeship service before training begins. Again, a support video provides a step-by-step guide. 
  • Advertise apprenticeship opportunities. A support video provides a step-by-step guide for recruiting an apprentice using the apprenticeship service and can be found here.

Why choose B&FC?

At B&FC our mission is simple: to support business growth and prosperity through high-quality apprenticeships. 

We benefit from a wealth of experience in this area and our expert apprenticeship advisers will work with you to identify and fulfil all your training needs. 

We do the hard work for you – matching the right apprentice to the right role.

Other great reasons to choose B&FC:

  • Responsiveness – we offer flexible delivery at a time and place to suit
  • Dual professional staff – our experienced tutors and assessors regularly spend time in industry to keep their expertise up-to-date 
  • Tailor-made – we customise course content to deliver the exact skills your organisation needs
  • High quality – we’re an Ofsted Grade 1 Outstanding college
  • Variety – access a wide range of apprenticeships, from entry to degree level
  • Industry-standard – training is to the best sector standard in cutting edge facilities 

 Pre-apprenticeships: don’t forget about these too!

Pre-apprenticeships - otherwise known as traineeships - offer young people the chance to gain employability skills via a 100-hour work placement.

Pre-apprenticeships can be tailored to suit your company’s individual needs, providing extra support where it’s needed.

You will be supporting young people onto the career ladder while tapping into the fresh ideas and enthusiasm of a new generation. 

All pre-apprenticeship costs are met by government funding and for every 16-18 year-old pre-apprentice you take on, you will receive a £1,000 government incentive payment.

If you decide to offer your pre-apprentice an apprenticeship, you will be eligible for the new government apprenticeship incentives (outlined above) as well.

Read more about pre-apprenticeships.

Icon showing a large hand holding up office buildings with the number 250,000

Join 250,000 other employers across the UK and Ireland who have hired apprentices.

An icon showing the figure - 89%

Nearly 9 in 10 employers say apprentices make their businesses more productive.

Icon showing scissors cutting a banknote

Three-quarters of apprentice employers say they have helped cut recruitment costs.

 How will you benefit?

Out of those employers who have embraced apprenticeships, 75% have reported that they have improved the quality of their product or service.

All employers report a 76% improvement in workplace productivity.

Other apprenticeship benefits include:

  • increasing employee satisfaction
  • reducing staff turnover
  • reducing recruitment costs

 Who makes a great apprentice?

Anyone over the age of 16 and not in full-time education can apply for an apprenticeship, providing they spend at least 50% of their working hours in England throughout their apprenticeship. 

Levels range from intermediate (equivalent to 5 GCSE passes) right up to degree level.

As an employer, you could offer apprenticeships to new entrants or use them to grow talent among your current employees.

 How do apprenticeships work?

Apprentices spend around 80% of their time learning ‘on-the-job’.

The remaining 20% (or more) is spent doing off-the-job training, such as shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attending competitions.

You can choose how this training is delivered, which might include regular day release, block release and workshops. 

 How much an apprenticeship costs your business

  • If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million a year, you automatically pay the apprenticeship levy.
  • If your pay bill is less than £3 million a year will not need to pay the levy however you the government will ask you to make a 10% cash contribution towards training and assessment costs.

If you have fewer than 50 employees…

The following incentives are available for employers with fewer than 50 employees:

  • no need to pay National Insurance Contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 earning below the higher tax rate of £827 a week (£43,000 a year)
  • £1,000 when you train a 16-to-18 year-old
  • £1,000 payment when you train a 19- to 24-year-old who has previously been in care or who has a local authority education, health and care plan

Accessing funding

The government’s apprenticeship service lets you plan and manage your apprenticeship programme in terms of working out costs, choosing a training provider, recruiting and, for levy-paying employers, overseeing your account.

If you don’t pay the levy… 

If your pay bill is less than £3 million a year, we can create your Apprenticeship Service Account for you, saving you time and ensuring your apprentices can get started as soon as possible.  

Once we’ve created your account, you’ll then receive your employer agreement, which you will need to review and accept before we can reserve your funding and start recruiting your apprentices.  

We’ll involve you at every stage to make sure you’re happy and agree to everything.

Contact us

Contact B&FC for Business for a chat about how apprenticeships can help upskill your team or bring new talent into your organisation.