From the 1st April 2021, all apprenticeship funding is to be allocated and managed via this online system.


What is the Apprenticeship Service?

The Apprenticeship Service, also known as the Digital Apprenticeship Service (AS), is an online platform created by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). It is used by employers and training providers to reserve and administer funding for apprentices. The Apprenticeship Service was originally designed to enable large employers to manage their apprenticeship levy funds (PAYE over £3m) and is gradually being expanded to help smaller organisations reserve funding for apprenticeships.

As the employer you must set up your Apprenticeship Service account and allocate funding to Hawk training for learner/s, identified prior to the learner/s being enrolled on the programme. When the learner has been enrolled you will then need to double lock the funding to confirm the learner has started their programme.

Who can use the Apprenticeship Service?


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The Apprenticeship Service was originally designed for large employers to manage their apprenticeship levy funds, but from January 2020, the service has been available to small employers that don’t pay the levy.
The Apprenticeship Service is now the only function available to employers and training providers for them to process apprentices and access funding for new starts who have been enroled from 1st April 2021.

Why should I use the Apprenticeship Service?

The service gives you better access to high quality apprenticeships as well as greater control over apprenticeship training decisions. It enables you to:

  • Reserve and manage funding to pay for training and assessment
  • Select an apprenticeship that meets your business needs
  • Recruit apprentices with support from Hawk Training
  • Create and advertise apprenticeship vacancies with Hawk Training
  • Choose Hawk Training as your preferred training provider
  • Find an end point assessment organisation with support from Hawk Training
  • Set permissions for allowing Hawk Training to take actions on your behalf, prior to you confirming them i.e. data entry of learner details.
  • Give real-time feedback on the quality of training.
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If I want to recruit an apprentice, is it mandatory that I register with the Apprenticeship Service?

All new apprenticeships are funded via the Apprenticeship Service from 1st April 2021, so it is a good time to transition to the service. 

How do I register on the Apprenticeship Service?

The process is straightforward and should be completed by a person of authority within your organisation. It is important that the right people in your company have the right access and permission levels to manage the system and budgets. There are four main steps you need to follow:

  • Create a user account using your name and a valid email address
  • Add a Pay as You Earn (PAYE) scheme on behalf of your organisation
  • Confirm your organisation details
  • Accept the employer agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

What do I need to register?

You will need the following information before you start the registration process:

  • A valid email address
  • The Government Gateway login details (user ID and password) for your organisation - your payroll or finance department should have your organisation’s Government Gateway details
  • If your annual pay bill is less than £3 million, you can use the accounts office reference number and employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • Authority to add PAYE schemes to the account
  • Authority to accept the employer agreement on behalf of your organisation.

How many apprentices can I add to my Apprenticeship Service account?

The number of apprentices that small employers can start through the Apprenticeship Service has increased from 3 to 10.  This has been refreshed from the 1st June 2022. 

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Do I need to manage my account or can I ask someone else to do this on my behalf?

You have the option of managing the account yourself or of instructing a training provider with an existing government contract such as Hawk Training to take on administrative responsibility. We are happy to guide you and discuss these options in more detail.

How to create an account

If you do not have an apprenticeship service account you will need to create an account.

Create an account here

We have produced a step by step guide to setting up your Apprenticeship Service account, available here.

Click here to download our guide

We have produced a guide to support you through this process, available here.

Download our guide

Everyone benefits with apprenticeships

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  • Increase employee retention74% of companies surveyed said that apprentices tended to be more loyal, than non-apprentices. 
  • Use funds that will otherwise be lost, only 14% of Levy funds have been used.  
  • Fill any skills gaps and allow the business to source future managers and leaders from within.
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  • Teams are more motivated - 92% of companies who invest in apprentices reported a significant increase in employee motivation. 
  • Enhance team productivity, 76% say that productivity has improved since getting an apprentice. 

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  • Upskill, (92%) of apprentices felt that their apprenticeship had had a positive impact on their career. 
  • An apprenticeship gives staff the opportunity to become more valuable to the company.  
  • Higher morale, teams have higher spirit and morale, as the organisation invested time and training in them. 

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  • 97% of apprentices said their ability to do the job had improved 
  • 92% of apprentices said that their career prospects had improved 
  • Earn while you learn. 

Book a free consultation

Meet our dedicated programme design team to:

  • Discuss the process of building a programme that suits your business needs and represents your business' identity
  • Review your apprenticeship training strategy and development plans
  • The opportunities that apprenticeships can bring to your business
  • Setting up an apprenticeship role and recruiting to your vacancy
  • How staff can undertake training through apprenticeships