The government recently announced incentives for employers to take on new entrants as apprentices of all ages. These incentives are in addition to the current incentive for 16-18 years olds (£1000). 


Who can access the new government incentive payments?

Any employer in England that recruits an apprentice as a new employee to their organisation between the 1st April 2021 and 31st January 2022. Provided the eligibility criteria are met, there will be no limit on the number of incentive payments you can claim.

What is the Eligibility criteria?


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 The eligibility criteria for the incentive is:

  • The apprentice must be a new employee
  • The apprentice must have a contract of employment start date between 1st April 2021 and 31st January 2022 (inclusive)
  • The apprentice must not have been employed by the employer within the six months prior to the contract start date.

What payments am I entitled to?

You still have time to apply for a payment of £3,000 for apprentices with an employment start date from 1st April 2021 to 30th September 2021. Applications close on 30th November 2021.

From 11th January 2022, you will be able to apply for a payment of £3,000 for apprentices with an employment start date from 1st October 2021 to 31st January 2022. Applications close on 20th May 2022.

You must set up an apprenticeship service account before you can apply.

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How is the incentive paid?

The payment will be made directly to employers by the Education and Skills Funding Agency  in two equal instalments, where the apprentice is still in learning at day 90 of their apprenticeship programme and day 365.  

These payments are made by the Education and Skills Funding Agency directly to you and are not administered by Hawk Training. 

However you must set up an Apprenticeship Service account to enable you to claim and receive the incentive payment.

What are the entry requirements for apprenticeships?

Eligibility requirements

Apprenticeships are funded through the apprenticeship levy or co-investment (95% government funded) and as such have eligibility requirements to enable funding to be accessed. Apprentices must:

  • Hold a permanent contract of employment prior to starting your apprenticeship
  • Not be in any other form of education or study
  • Have been resident in the EEA (European Economic Area) for the past 3 years and have proof of this
  • Have a national insurance number.

Is the 16-18-year-old, £1000 apprentice incentive still available?

In short, yes. This is in addition to the existing incentive currently available to help cover the costs associated with training a 16-18-year-old apprentice, or an apprentice aged 19-24 who has previously been in care or has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan.

This would mean that an employer who meets the eligibility criteria, employing a 16-18-year-old is entitled to receive up to £4,000 for each new apprentice recruited.

What you can use the payment for

The payment is different to apprenticeship levy funds so you can spend it on anything to support your organisation’s costs. For example, on uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary. You do not have to pay it back.

You can only apply for this payment for new apprentices who started their contract of employment between 1st April 2021 and 31st January 2022.

*Note that applications close on 30th November 2021 for all claims between 1st April and 30th September 2021.

*From 11th January 2022, you will be able to apply for a payment of £3,000 for apprentices with an employment start date from 1st October 2021 to 31st January 2022. Applications for this close on 20th May 2022.

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How to access and apply for the incentive

You can apply for an incentive payment after you have added new apprentices to your apprenticeship service account. If you do not have an apprenticeship service account you will need to create an account or sign in to your existing account to claim an incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice.

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