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Grants for Employers

Grants for Employers

Taking on an apprentice can be a daunting task, financially as well as mentally, there are various costs that might prevent you from starting a young person on to the path to their ideal career, or stop valuable skills being passed on to the next generation of staff.

To help employers make sure that funds aren’t standing in the way of employing apprentices, there are grants available to clear the way for you to start the process of training up an apprentice sooner rather than later.

For employers in the Greater Manchester area, the process of applying for Apprentice Grants for Employers (AGE) falls under the remit of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Since our focus is on the Greater Manchester area we have looked at the grant process for our key area first. But we know that some employers and locations will be outside our immediate area, so we’ve looked at the differences for those of you applying under the national scheme.

The grants are for an employer that otherwise would not be able to employ an apprentice. There are strict criteria and for the most, they are given out on a first come first served basis and are rapidly snapped up by businesses wanting to take on young people in apprenticeships.

Training costs

The full cost of training should be met by the Skills Funding Agency for Apprentices aged 16-18 years. For Apprentices aged 19-23 years old the employer will be asked to make a contribution. For learners aged 24 and over the employer will be asked to make a larger contribution towards the training costs.

Training costs are in general the charges that training providers, like ourselves, charge. They are not things like wages, travel costs, or any other incidental costs that you or the apprentice might have to pay.

Grants In The Greater Manchester Area

Up to three grants of £1500 are available to employers who meet the following criteria:

  • The workplace where they will undertake their apprenticeship is in Great Manchester.
  • The company employs fewer than 250 employees.
  • The company does not have any staff presently completing an apprenticeship
  • The company has not employed an apprentice who completed their apprenticeship within the previous 12 months unless they are progressing from an Advanced Apprenticeship on to a Higher Apprenticeship.
  • The apprentice is aged between 16 and 24.
  • The employer commits to employing the apprentice for 12 months.

If your company meets all of the above, there are extra incentives available.

  • If you have an apprentice who wants to work, but needs to learn extra skills and gain more experience, you can offer a Traineeship. There is an extra £1000 incentive for employers who progress a young person from a completed Traineeship to an Apprenticeship.
  • There is an extra £1000 for employers starting an apprentice onto a Higher Apprenticeship.

We as a training provider would receive the grant on your behalf and then transfer the money into your account, normally within two weeks of us receiving the grant from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. You do not become eligible to receive the grant until the apprentice has completed 13 weeks of training, and it can take up to 11 weeks for the grant to be processed. You should, therefore, expect it to take up to 6 months before you receive your grants.

There are a few things you need to be aware of before applying for the grants, over and above terms mentioned already.

The grants cannot be used for Party-Political use, or to support or promote religious activity. If your business is in either of these sectors contact us to see if the grant would still be available to your business.

Grants are awarded on a first come first served basis, so contact us today so we can assist your business.

Employers outside of the Greater Manchester Area

The Government Apprenticeship Grants for Employers of 16-24 year olds (AGE 16 to 24) operates throughout the country excluding Greater Manchester, Sheffield City Region, and West Yorkshire. From the 1st of August 2016, a further five areas took on their own management of Apprenticeship grants for employers including, The West of England, Tees Valley, Norfolk and Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and, importantly for our area, Liverpool City Region.

The funding window for the Liverpool City Region has closed for 2016. If you are in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St. Helens, and Wirral) contact us to discuss the funding that is available to you, and for the dates when the next round of funding becomes available.

AGE outside of these specific areas

Employers falling under the national scheme can receive up to a total of 5 grants, however, the rules are slightly different.

  • Your business must have fewer than 50 employees.
  • You must not have had an apprentice complete their training in the previous 12 months before an apprentice starts their training with you.
  • Only one grant will be paid for any individual apprentices.
  • You must commit to training the apprentice for 12 months, or the time taken to complete their apprenticeship, whichever is greater.

With any of the schemes, you must have your training and your apprenticeship frameworks in place before applying for any grants. We are able to advise you on the steps for applying for AGE both inside and outside the Greater Manchester area.

Whilst for all types of funding the apprentice must remain in training for a period of 13 weeks, if after this period the apprentices leaves of their own accord, or has unsatisfactory performance you are still entitled to the above grants.

There are some restrictions placed on the apprentices themselves to be eligible for you to claim these grants for their training.

  • They must be between 16 and 24 at the start of their apprenticeship.
  • They must live in England and have eligibility to work and study in England.
  • They must not be taking part in full-time education at the same time as their apprenticeship, although they can move from a course of study on to training.
  • They must not be an existing employee but must be a new recruit for this position to your business.

Contact us if you need further advice and guidance, and to discuss the frameworks and training procedures for any apprentice that you are looking to take on.