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Employers can Boost Cash for Hiring Apprentices

The world has changed as we knew it and continues to change as we adapt many of our personal and workplace practices and behaviours to a new normal.

Face masks are now an essential accessory, staying at home is the new going out, and working from home has become the new norm. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the government introduce schemes in an effort to rebuild the economy and support the nation with schemes like the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Eat Out to Help Out, and the incentives for employers hiring new apprentices.

So hopefully if you are an employer, you’ll have heard of the incentives on offer by hiring new apprentices. It’s a great way to develop your workforce and invest further in your people as businesses look to rebuild.

How does it work?

To support businesses, the government are offering incentive payments for newly hired apprentices. Employers will be able to claim incentive payments between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021.

For every apprentice that is a new employee to your business, you’ll receive £2,000 if they are aged between 16 – 24 and £1,500 if they are 25 or over.

The scheme is designed to help encourage employers to create new jobs and to develop the skills they need to recover from the economic struggles of COVID-19.

There is an additional £1,000 for employers for newly hired apprentices aged:

  • 16 – 18
  • 19 – 24 years old and has an Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority or has been in the care of their local authority

Find out how to apply and more information here.

Hire an apprentice who has been made redundant

You can also use a new service from the government to assist you in hiring an apprentice who have been made redundant.

The key here is that many of these apprentices have the skills, knowledge, and qualities that you need. Hiring a new apprentice in this way could mean you have a work-ready apprentice who can quickly add value to your business, shortening the time you’ll see a return on your investment.

It also means you will be assisting an apprentice to complete their training and achieve their apprenticeship.

If you hire an apprentice that has been redundant, you can apply for the incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice.

How much does it cost to pay an apprentice?

As an employer, it is your responsibility to pay the wages of your apprentice, for their normal working hours and any training they do as part of the apprenticeship.

You are required to pay them at least the National Minimum Wage rate depending on their age and year of apprenticeship training they are in.

The rates from April 2020:

ApprenticeUnder 1919 to 2021 to 2425 and over
In 1st Year£4.15£4.15£4.15£4.15
Have completed 1st Year£4.15£6.45£8.20£8.72

What about unused Levy funds?

Employers who pay the apprenticeship levy can choose to transfer any unused funds to another employer, using the apprenticeship service.

This will support them to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment.

You can locate employers who may want to transfer funds by:

  • Speaking to training providers
  • Working with employers in your supply chain
  • Getting in touch with employers in your industry
  • Working with regional partners.

A levy-paying employer can transfer a maximum of 25% of their funds. To gain more information and support about transferring your unused funds visit,

So now we have gone into the details and fine print of the incentive scheme, we hope you can make use of this support and invest good quality apprentices into your workforce.

If you are left with any further questions or would like support in finding an apprentice for your business get in touch with us.

National Insurance Breaks for Employers of Apprentices Under 25

Employers of apprentices under the age of 25 are no longer be required to pay secondary Class 1 (employer)

National Insurance Contributions (NIC) on earnings up to the Upper Earnings Limit (currently £43,000), for those employees.

This is up to a 13.8% saving on everything the apprentice earns over £8,424 a year for the employers of apprentices.


An employer has a staff member who is under 25 and they encourage them to enroll onto an apprenticeship.

If the employee is earning £18,000 per year, at a national insurance rate of 13.8% (the first £8,424 earned is not subject to NIC) the remaining £9,576 is subject to NIC and provides the employer with a saving of £1,321 that they no longer need to pay, for the entire time the employee remains on the apprenticeship and under the age of 25.

For more information – Paying employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices under 25