Hiring an apprentice can be a great way to build a talented, skilled and loyal workforce from scratch. Did you know that those employers not eligible to pay the apprenticeship levy (so those with a wage bill of less than £3m) are also eligible for funding to start an apprenticeship scheme? Here’s how to access apprenticeship funding.

What apprenticeship funding is available?


  • If you’re an employer with a pay bill of more than £3 million, you’re required to pay the apprenticeship levy. The government will apply a 10% top up to the funds you have in your account.
  • If you don’t have enough funds, you just pay 5% of the outstanding balance and the government will pay the rest. This is up to the funding band maximum allocated to each specific apprenticeship

Non levy-payers

  • If you don’t pay the apprenticeship levy, you pay just 5% towards the cost of training and assessing an apprentice. The government will pay the rest up to the funding band maximum.
  • If you employ less than 50 staff, the government will pay 100% of the apprenticeship training costs up to the funding band maximum for apprentices who are aged between 16-18 or 19 – 24 with an education, health and care plan provided by their local authority (or has been in the care of the local authority).
  • If you exceed the funding band maximum, you’ll need to pay all the additional costs.


There is currently at £1,000 incentive to employers hiring an apprentice who is 16 – 18 years old and / or 19 – 24 with an education, health and care plan or who have been in the care of the local authority.

How do you access the apprenticeship funding?

  • You will need to set up a government account.
  • Choose the type of apprenticeship you wish to run.
  • Identify the qualification and a local college to partner with you for each apprentice role.
  • Choose which type of contract you will need: there are two types of apprenticeship; a contract of apprenticeship (common law) and an apprentice agreement/contract (statutory apprenticeship).

Look at our in-depth guide to starting an apprenticeship scheme or we can offer information and assistance on starting a scheme. The government also has a useful ‘things to check’ list.