• Employer Guide to Apprenticeships

The Apprenticeship AGE Grant

The Government Grant (£1500) has already helped thousands of employers to grow their business by employing an apprentice. Could it help you too? You can find further information on the Apprenticeship Age Grant by clicking here


If you are a small business (under 250 staff) and want to employ an apprentice for the first time, you may be entitled to a grant.  These are often accessed via the Local Authority in certain counties. Current rates per county (Sept 2016) and are on a first come first served basis.

Norfolk & Suffolk


Following the announcement that local leaders in Norfolk and Suffolk have decided not to proceed with the region’s devolution deal, the DfE have asked the Skills Funding Agency not to proceed with payment of any further monies associated with the AGE programme to Norfolk County Council for the management of the AGE programme across Norfolk and Suffolk.
The DfE have recognised that the payment of funds to cover the period until 31 December 2016 has all been committed to employers to support the uptake of Apprenticeships locally in line with DfE priorities for the apprenticeship programme so they do not intend to recover any of the AGE payment made for this period.

What this means for Norfolk and Suffolk Employers

  • Those employers who have started an apprentice between the 1 August and 31 December 2016 and have already made an application will still receive their grant from Norfolk County Council.
  • Those employers who have started an apprentice between the 1 August and 31 December 2016 but have not made an application or could not apply because they applied after all funding was allocated will not be eligible to apply for funding from the national scheme or the local scheme. 
  • Employers who start an apprentice after the 1 Jan 2017 in Norfolk and Suffolk will be able to access an AGE grant through the national system so long as they meet the national criteria with applications being made via their training provider or college.

Cambridge & Peterborough

£2000 for each apprentice aged 16 – 18
£1500 for each apprentice who is aged 19 to 24 at the time they start their Apprenticeship.


Businesses can be based anywhere in Essex and are eligible if they have not taken on an apprentice in the last two years or are increasing their in-take as a result of the subsidy. Apprentices must live in political Essex (excludes Southend and Thurrock as well as London Boroughs) and aged 16-24. There is no restriction on the business size.

Essex County Council will pay the employer a subsidy of £2500 towards an apprentice’s salary. The subsidy equates to almost half of the National Minimum Wage for an apprentice (£98.05 per week based on 37 hours). This will be paid for the duration of the employee’s learning programme up to a period of 52 weeks. In cases where the employee’s position is terminated, payment will be made until that point.


Via the National Apprenticeship AGE grant scheme


Via the National Apprenticeship AGE grant scheme

The Employer Levy

Announced in the Summer 2015 budget, to be implemented from April 2017.

The Levy will be applied via HMRC and will effect employers with a pay bill of £3m per annum and charged at a rate of 0.5% of your pay bill.

Each Employer who pays the Levy will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their Levy payment.

Employers who are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in by training sufficient numbers of apprentices.

From 2016 – 2017 the government will abolish employer Class 1 National Insurance Contributions for apprentices aged under 25 on earnings up to the weekly limit of £827.