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Government Incentives for Recruiting Apprentices

Apprentice Hairdressing

The Chancellor announced in the recent Spending Review 2020 that the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice will be extended until 31 March 2021. This has been extended from the original deadline of 31 January 2021. Please read below for more information:

During July 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that as a part of his ‘Plan for Jobs’, a new apprenticeship incentive scheme was going to be put in place to encourage businesses across all sectors to look at hiring apprentices in order to stir up the nation’s economy post lockdown.

Apprenticeships have the potential to provide opportunities for gaining training whilst working, therefore improving career opportunities and helping to fill skills gaps.

We are encouraged by the Government’s proactive effort to protect the economy and its people by the introduction of various incentive payments based on the age for any business that hires a new apprentice from 1st August 2020 to March 31st 2021:

  • If you hire an apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 31st March 2021 you can receive up to £3,000
  • If you hire a new apprentice aged 16-24 you will receive an incentive payment of £2,000.
  • For hiring an apprentice aged 25 or over you will receive an incentive payment of £1,500.

Additional Employer Grants

It doesn’t stop there! The apprenticeship incentive scheme is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for employers who hire new 16-18 year old apprentices and those aged19-25 years with an Education, Health and Care plan.

Who can claim?

The grants are available to all employers, but claims can only be made for new apprentices who start between 1st August 2020 and 31st March 2021. New apprentices cannot be existing employees but can be existing apprentices who have been made redundant by another employer.

Using the grant

Employers can use the incentive funding to help meet any of the costs associated with supporting a new apprentice in their workplace: including facilities, uniforms, and apprentice travel. It can also contribute to meeting the costs of an apprentice’s wages. Individual employers can choose how to spend the money to support their apprentices depending on their individual circumstances.

Grant payments

The money will be paid in instalments, with 50% of the total paid at roughly 90 days from the apprentice’s start date, and the remaining 50% paid roughly 365 days from the apprentice’s start date, subject to the apprentice still being in employment (with the same employer) and undertaking their apprenticeship at these times.

Making a grant claim

You must have a registered account through the Governments ‘apprenticeship service’ which your Bedford College Group Account Manager can provide further guidance on. Only employers with a registered apprenticeship service account will be eligible for grant payments, the registration process for the apprenticeship service has recently been streamlined to minimise the administrative burden for employers.

As the largest apprenticeship provider in the South East Midlands and with so many years of experience working with employers and young people we are confident to provide you with the best support with your apprenticeship programme and guide you throughout the process.

Now is a great time to make the most of these employer incentives! For more information on the new incentive scheme or if you’d like to discuss how we can assist you in helping to find an apprentice for your business, please contact our Business Development Team on 01234 291747 or email

Apprenticeship Enquiry Form

If you are interested in an apprenticeship but don’t see the ideal vacancy you wish to apply for, please feel free to fill out the enquiry form below and we will invite you in to see us and then we can inform you of upcoming vacancies you may be interested in.