Apprenticeship Incentives – Latest Information

Last updated: 03/03/21

Recently the Government announced their latest initiatives in the Chancellor’s Summer Statement, which form part of the wider Government’s Plan for Jobs.

Here is the latest information that has been released, confirming incentive payments for employers who hire new apprentices between 1st August 2020 and 30th September 2021, as well as an update on our Apprentice Recruitment service.

Incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice

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
16-18 £1,000 £2,000 + £1,000 £3,000 + £1,000
19-24 Not applicable £2,000 £3,000
25 and over Not applicable £1,500 £3,000
19-24 who has previously been in Care or on an EHC plan* £1,000 £2,000 +£1,000 £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.

Supporting you to hire a new apprentice

Through our Apprentice Recruitment service, we have helped employer partners to recruit over 5000 apprentices over the last 12 months.

The service is free to use and we have established ourselves as the largest recruiter of apprentices in the UK. In 2017 we launched our higher-level recruitment service, meaning we can now recruit from entry level up to management level roles.

Our team of recruitment experts work with you to understand job roles, your brand, and any specific requirements to tailor the approach and ensure they find the right candidate for your business.

Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) forms part of our service to ensure we support applicants with their career choices whether they successfully secure a role or not. Our team are on hand to support apprentices with their first steps into employment and can lighten the burden on hiring managers.

Lifetime's Apprentice Recruitment Service

5000+ roles filled and up to 12,000 applicants per month

77% retention rate for recruited apprentices

Lifetime’s job board generates over 40k visits per month

 If you would like to discuss Apprentice Recruitment, please get in touch via the 'Request a call back' form below.


We will provide further information about the Traineeships scheme as more information becomes available on how funding for these programmes are accessed and delivered.

About Sean Cosgrove

Sean is Lifetime's Chief Commercial Officer, proud to support learners and employers across the UK access high quality training solutions. Sean joined Lifetime in 2016 when he relocated from Sydney to London, and has 10+ years experience in vocational education.



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