It is now confirmed incentive payments will be made to employers who hire an apprentice with a contract start date between 1st August 2020 and 30th September 2021.
To qualify for the incentive payment, the apprentice must be a new employee and not have worked for the employer within the last six months prior to their contract start date.
However, it is worth noting, apprentices who have a contract start date between 1st August 2020 and 30th September do not have to be hired as an apprentice, meaning employees who start in your business through normal recruitment channels and meet the eligibility criteria can attract the new hire incentives.
This makes the incentive a beneficial side effect of starting a new team member on an apprenticeship within their first few months of employment.
There is no upper limit to the number of incentive payments a levy-paying employer can claim, non-levy-paying employers have a cap of 10 payments per year. Two levels of payment are provided based on the age of the apprentice, these are set out below:
|Age/Status of Apprentice
|Contract Start Date
|Before 1st August 2020
||1st August 2020 - 31st March 2021
||1st April 2021- 30th September 2021
||£2,000 + £1,000
||£3,000 + £1,000
|25 and over
|19-24 who has previously been in Care or on an EHC plan*
||£3,000 + £1,000
* Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan
To be eligible an employee with a start date between 1st August 2020 and 31st October 2021 must have:
- Not worked for the organisation for 6 months prior
- Been enrolled onto an apprenticeship programme between 1st August 2020 and 31st October 2021
To be eligible an employee with a start date between 1st April 2021 and 30th September 2021 must have:
- Details to be confirmed but assumed to be in line with with previous scheme, subject to regulatory change
In the same way existing learner incentive payments are scheduled, the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice is paid in two equal instalments at month 3 and month 12.
Unlike the current incentive payments, which are managed through your training provider, the incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice is claimed directly through the Apprenticeship Service. Claims can be made from the 1st September 2020.
Dependant on the size of your organisation, limits may be applied to the number of learners who you can receive incentive payments for, to understand whether your organisation is impacted please email
You can read the guidance directly here.