Now is the Perfect Time to Hire an Apprentice: New Bonuses Support Businesses and Young People


Apprenticeship employer incentives extended by two months until 31 March 2021!

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced a two-month extension be applied to the government’s cash bonus scheme for hiring apprentices.

Any employer looking to bring an apprentice into their company over the next few months can benefit from the government’s new bonus scheme. The scheme is running from August 1st, 2020 until 31st March 2021 and it’s a chance to bring new talent into your company and spark interest in a young person looking for their perfect career.

Part of the Government’s “A Plan for Jobs”, the apprenticeship funding policy has been updated to give even more incentives to employers. You have until January 2021 to find the apprentices perfect for your business and the purpose of the incentive is to help build capacity and capability in the UK workforce after the disruption caused by COVID-19. Below we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the scheme, to give employers the best possible guidance for employers looking to give younger workers a chance.

Accessing the New Government Incentive Payments

The new government incentive payments can be claimed by any employer in England who recruits a new apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021. There is no limit on the number of incentive payments you can claim and so if you’re looking to bring in more than one apprentice there is nothing stopping you.

How Much is Each Incentive Payment and When is it Paid?

The government has set two separate tiers of payment depending on the age of apprentice you employ. Businesses can claim £2000 per apprentice aged 16 to 24 and £1500 per apprentice aged over 25.

Incentive payments have been able to be claimed since 1st September and you must make all claims via the apprenticeship service. Payments will be made directly to your business in two equal instalments where the apprentice is still learning within your business on day 90 and then again on day 365. You have to be committed to the full training of your apprentices and not just attempting to gain additional capital.

Eligibility for the New Apprenticeships Bonus

There are some specific requirements employers need to meet to be eligible for this new scheme. They include:

  • All apprentices you hire must be new employees to your business
  • Their contract of employment must start between August 1st 2020 and 31st March 2021
  • Apprentices cannot have been employed by the company within the six months prior to the start of their contract

Is the New Bonus A Replacement for Older Schemes?

These new incentives are an additional payment so employers can still receive any other payments they qualify for such as those available for training 16-18 year old apprentices and those training apprentices aged 19-24 who has been in the care system or with a  Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan.

Can I employ an Apprentice with Prior Qualifications?

If you’re interested in hiring a new apprentice who is qualified in an area different to your own, you should still be able to claim this bonus. As long as they are gaining significantly new skills and the content of your training is different from their previous training experience, you may be able to claim this payment, it depends on the individual circumstances but the government have said everyone will be considered fairly.

With the abrupt end to schooling and many young people looking for a career move earlier than they had hoped, apprenticeships are extremely popular. Potential apprentices are keen to find their role in the professional world and you can be rewarded for supporting their training and gain a valuable new employee at the same time.

Apprenticeships for Recovery and Growth

For more information about the apprenticeship incentives, and how changes to apprenticeship funding will benefit levy and non-levy paying employers, get in touch today