Guidance

Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice

Incentive payments for employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 30 September 2021.

We’ve increased incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice

Employers will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.

The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority

Apprentices who joined your organisation before 1 April 2021

For new apprentices who joined your organisation between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 aged:

  • 16 to 24, employers will receive £2,000
  • 25 and over, employers will receive £1,500

You must apply for these apprentices before 31 May 2021.

Apprentices who joined your organisation from 1 April 2021

Employers will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.

You can apply for incentive payments for these apprentices from 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021.

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.

Eligibility

You can only apply for new apprentices who joined your organisation between 1 August 2020 and 30 September 2021.

You cannot apply for an existing employee who joined your organisation before 1 August 2020, even if they started an apprenticeship after this date.

How to apply

You can apply for the incentive payment after you add new apprentices to your apprenticeship service account.

You must set up an apprenticeship service account to apply.

When you’ll get paid

We cannot make any payments until we’ve received and verified your organisation and finance details. This could take up to 3 months and we may contact someone from your organisation.

We’ll make the payment in 2 equal instalments for each apprentice. The first payment is sent after an apprentice completes 90 days of their apprenticeship and the second is sent after 365 days.

We’ll make payments by Bacs on the 14th working day of the month. It usually takes 3 working days to process.

After you apply, you can view applications, estimated payment dates and check the status of each payment in your apprenticeship service account.

Get help

You can either:

Published 10 August 2020
Last updated 7 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added phase 2 application closing deadline.

  2. Extending the phase 1 application window to 31 May 2021.

  3. Updated to reflect incentives extension and increase.

  4. Added additional information to make it clear that you can only apply for an incentive payment for a new employee apprentice, if you have set up an apprenticeship account and are using it to access funding for that apprentice's training.

  5. Financial incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice have been extended to new apprentices hired by 31 March 2021.

  6. Added information about when we'll make the incentive payments.

  7. Updated information on incentive payments and how to claim them by setting up an apprenticeship service employer account.

  8. First published.