Employer Grants & Funding


What’s Available?

The UK government will cover 100% of an Apprentice’s training costs if they are aged between 16-18, or partially fund the cost if between 18-24. In real terms, that’s from £15,000 of training per Apprentice you would not pay out for but would fully benefit from with a highly skilled and motivated employee.

Furthermore, the Government also offer UK businesses a financial incentive to train Apprentices in the form of the AGE 16-24 grant. This is a generous one-off grant available to small to medium sized businesses (specifically SMEs with less than 50 employees) that agree to employ an Apprentice for the duration of their training whilst paying the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices.

16-18 year olds are FULLY FUNDED
19 - 24 are partially funded

From 6th of April 2016

From 6 April 2016, if you employ an Apprentice you may not need to pay employer Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) on their earnings below £827 a week (£43,000 a year).

They must be under 25 years old and following an approved UK government statutory Apprenticeship framework (frameworks can differ depending on the UK country).


To qualify, you’ll need to have evidence to be able to apply the relief. This can be either:

  • >>written agreement between you, the Apprentice and a Training Provider
  • >>in England and Wales, evidence that the Apprenticeship receives government funding

Written agreement must show:

  • >>the government Apprentice framework or standard
  • >>a start and (expected) end date for their Apprenticeship scheme

If the training provider hasn’t signed the written agreement, they’ll need to give you a document that shows:

  • >>they’re an approved (recognised) Training Provider
  • >>the training your Apprentice is undertaking, and any training already done

Alternatively, in England and Wales, you can provide evidence of government funding of the Apprenticeship. This could be the declaration to receive Apprenticeship incentive payments, or the employer payment schedule to the provider.

You could be the employer and a trainer if you’ve been approved by the Skills Funding Agency in England, or hold a contract for the delivery of Apprenticeships in Wales.

Hiring An Apprentice…

Hiring an Apprentice is a great way of bringing new skills and ideas into your business, with little to no financial or business risk to you, the employer. It is also a great way for employers, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it, to employ young people and train them for a career in your business, enhancing both your competitive edge and your bottom line.

Many businesses shy away from hiring an Apprentice owing to concerns over the cost of such an undertaking. However, with the UK government keen to get as many young people into work as possible, there are some fantastic financial incentives available for businesses employing Apprentices.

With minimal financial outlay and the prospect of a sizeable return on your investment there has never been a better time to become an Apprentice employer.

Get In Touch

To find out how your business can benefit from employing a NowSkills IT Apprentice and to confirm your business’s eligibility for Government funding get in touch with us today!

  • 16-18 Apprentices

    16-18 year old Apprentices are fully funded by the government.

  • 19-24 Apprentices

    19-24 year old Apprentices are only partially funded.

  • 25+ Apprentices

    Apprentices who are 25+ must pay for their own funding.

AGE 16-24 Grant

One of the biggest incentives for hiring an apprentice is the government funding available to businesses. Eligible businesses employing an apprentice, undertaking an approved programme of training and between the the ages of 16-24, are entitled to financial support in the form of an AGE 16-24 grant from the UK government. If your business qualifies, it will receive a grant from £1,500 for each Apprentice it trains, up to five Apprentices, after a qualifying period.

Whether or not your business can claim an AGE 16-24 grant depends on several factors. These include:

  • >>The age of the apprentice
  • >>The size of your business
  • >>How many apprentices you intend to hire

For full details of the Government’s AGE 16-24 grant click here.

We can now confirm that GM AGE will continue to be available until 31 December 2016 as outlined below.

Up to three GM AGE grants of £1,500 are available to any employer meeting the eligibility criteria.

The model also includes additional incentive payments to encourage:

  • >> Progressing a young person from a completed Traineeship to an Apprenticeship – £1,000 additional employer incentive.
  • >> Employing a Higher Apprenticeship – £1,000 additional employer incentive.
  • >> Support to providers supporting Trailblazer Standard – £1,000 provider incentive.

The criteria and model for GM AGE in 2016/17 are as follows:

  • >> The Apprentice workplace is in GM.
  • >> The company has fewer than 250 employees.
  • >> If the company has previously employed an apprentice, it is more than 12 months since their last Apprentice completed their programme, unless the apprentice is progressing from an Advanced to Higher Apprenticeship.
  • >> The Apprentice is between the ages of 16 and 24.