Employer Incentives

In response to the challenges faced by employers during the Covid-19 pandemic, from 1st  August 2020, employers were eligible to receive an incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice for an apprenticeship start, if, at the start of the apprenticeship, the apprentice is a new employee.

This scheme has been implemented in 2 phases – with the second phase starting on 1st April 2021.

 

Phase 1 - 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021

To qualify the apprentice/s must:

  1. Have a contract of employment start date between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 (inclusive);
  2. Not have been employed by you within the six months prior to the employment contract start date; and
  3. Have an apprenticeship agreement containing a start date between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 inclusive.

 

Age band of Apprentices        Incentive Payment

16-24                                      £2000*

25+                                         £1500

*For 16-18 years old apprentices, employers already receive £1000 (in an already established system) for new starts, in addition to the £2000 (total £3,000).  The £1000 is claimed by HWGTA on employer’s behalf and payments are forwarded, once received from the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency)

 

Phase 2 - 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021

To qualify the apprentice/s must:

1. Have a contract of employment start date between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 (inclusive);

2. Not have been employed by you within the six months prior to the employment contract start date; and

3. Have an apprenticeship agreement containing a start date between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 inclusive.

 

Age band of Apprentices      Incentive Payment

All                                         £3000*

 

*For 16-18 years old apprentices, employers already receive £1000 (in an already established system) for new starts, in addition to the £3000 (total £4,000). The £1000 is claimed by HWGTA on employer’s behalf and payments are forwarded, once received from the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency)

In order to claim this additional incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice, you must use the Apprenticeship Service to access funding for the apprentice’s training and assessment and claim the additional payment, which will be paid to you directly.

If you are not already registered on the Apprenticeship Service, please contact HWGTA, to start this process and we will provide you with a guidance document. In addition to this, staff can talk you through, any areas of concern.

Claim Information:

  • You MUST apply for Phase 1 payments BEFORE 31st May 2021, where eligible
  • You can apply for Phase 2 payments FROM 1st June 2021, where eligible.
  • There will be no limit on the number of incentive payments that an employer can claim for apprentices eligible to receive funding, provided each apprentice meets the criteria, including being a new employee.

If you have any queries about this please contact your normal HWGTA representative, who will be able to help you access this financial support.

What you can use the payment for:

The payment is different to apprenticeship levy funds, so you can spend it on anything to support your organisation’s costs. For example, on uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary. You do not have to pay it back.

Eligibility

You can only apply for new apprentices who joined your organisation between 1 August 2020 and 30 September 2021.

You cannot apply for an existing employee who joined your organisation before 1 August 2020, even if they started an apprenticeship after this date.

When you’ll get paid

The ESFA will not make any payments until they have received and verified your organisation and finance details. This could take up to 3 months and they may contact someone from your organisation.

They will make the payment in 2 equal instalments for each apprentice. The first payment is sent after an apprentice completes 90 days of their apprenticeship and the second is sent after 365 days.

They will make payments by Bacs on the 14th working day of the month. It usually takes 3 working days to process.

After you apply, you can view applications, estimated payment dates and check the status of each payment in your apprenticeship service account.

 

For full details see:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/incentive-payments-for-hiring-a-new-apprentice

 

Revision C 17/03/21