Apprenticeship costs and funding for employers

Apprenticeship funding - for employers

Funding is available for both new and existing employees, depending on the apprentice's age and experience.

  • Employers in England can access full funding for those aged over 16, so you only need to pay their salary.
  • Funding is used to cover the cost of off-the-job training, and employers can top this up further if they wish (in agreement with their chosen training provider).
  • If your apprentice is aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship, you must pay the national minimum wage for an apprentice.
  • If your apprentice is aged 19 or over, or if they have completed the first year of their apprenticeship, you must pay them the national minimum wage.

However, you may want to consider offering a more competitive salary for your apprentices to attract and retain the top talent. In some roles the wage may increase as the apprentice progresses and takes on more responsibility, and they are entitled to the same benefits as an employee, including a holiday allowance.

England's apprenticeship levy explained

The apprenticeship levy is a compulsory tax on employers in England to help fund the development and delivery of apprenticeships, with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of those available. Employers fall into one of two groups: levy payers and non-levy payers.

Your wage bill determines if you pay the levy:

Wage bill of £3 million or more

If your annual wage bill is £3 million or more you must pay the levy, whether you employ apprentices or not. The amount payable is 0.5% of your wage bill. All employers get a £15,000 allowance to offset the amount they have to pay.

which lets you manage your apprenticeship funding and delivery.

The levy can be used to pay for End Point Assessments, but not the registration or certification of non-mandatory qualifications.

Wage bill under £3 million

If your annual wage bill is under £3 million, you don't have to pay the levy.

You'll contribute 5% towards the cost of the required apprenticeship training and the government will pay the remaining 95%.

Whatever size of business you are, taking on apprentices is a highly cost-effective way of recruiting new talent into your organisation.

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