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What’s in it for employers hiring apprentices?


Plan for Jobs – Apprenticeship incentive payments available to employers

The government’s Plan for Jobs scheme is designed to help to stimulate the nation’s economic recovery following the fallout from Covid-19. While payments to employers retaining furloughed staff have made headlines across all media, there is also welcome news for those thinking of taking on an apprentice. Under Plan for Jobs in recognition of the value that apprentices can bring to the economy, an incentive payment will be made to employers who hire an apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021. However, these incentives should not be confused with the new Kickstart scheme recently announced by the Chancellor, the wage supplements announced as part of that particular scheme cannot be used for apprentices.

The headlines of the plan are as follows:

  • To be eligible, the apprentice must be a new employee to the business and have a contract of employment start date between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 (inclusive).
  • They must not have been employed by the employer within the six months before the contract start date.
  • 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 eligibility criteria.
  • There will be two levels of payment based on age. For apprentices aged 16-24 the payment will be £2,000, and for apprentices aged 25 or over the payment will be £1,500.
  • Payment will be made directly to employers in two equal instalments, where the apprentice is still in learning at day 90 and day 365. At both of these points, the employer can claim equal payments of £1,000 for 16 to 24-year-olds (total incentive £2,000 per learner), or £750 for learners aged 25 and over (total incentive £1,500 per learner).
  • The Scheme went live on 1 August, although employers can only begin to claim for new apprentices from 1 September.
  • Employers will need to claim via the Apprenticeship Service, and payments will be made directly to them. This means employers will need to set up their account on The Apprenticeship Service portal in order to access the funding, JTL can assist with this process.

Please be aware that this only applies to England.

​​If you would like to find out more about the government incentive scheme please call JTL on 0800 085 2308 or get in touch with your local Training Officer. You can also obtain further funding advice for England here.

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