Apprenticeship costs and funding for employers

Apprenticeship funding

Funding is available for both new and existing employees, depending on the apprentice's age and experience.

  • Employers in England can access full funding for those aged over 16, so you only need to pay their salary.
  • Employers in Scotland, Wales and England can access full funding for all 16–18-year-olds, and you may be eligible for funding for apprentices aged 19 years and over. Funding incentives vary between nations, so contact your regional agency for more information.
Rates of apprentice pay

Rates of apprentice pay

  • If your apprentice is aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship, you must pay the national minimum wage for an apprentice.
  • If your apprentice is aged 19 or over, or if they have completed the first year of their apprenticeship, you must pay them the national minimum wage.

However, you may want to consider offering a more competitive salary for your apprentices to attract and retain the top talent. In some roles the wage may increase as the apprentice progresses and takes on more responsibility, and they'll also get the same benefits as an employee, including a holiday allowance.

England's apprenticeship levy explained

The apprenticeship levy is a compulsory tax on employers in England to help fund the development and delivery of apprenticeships, with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of those available. Employers fall into one of two groups: levy payers and non-levy payers.

Your wage bill determines if you pay the levy
Wage bill of £3 million or more
Wage bill under £3 million

Wage bill of £3 million or more

If your annual wage bill is £3 million or more you must pay the levy, whether you employ apprentices or not. The amount payable is 0.5% of your wage bill. All employers get a £15,000 allowance to offset the amount they have to pay.

The payments go into the online Apprenticeship Service, which lets you manage your apprenticeship funding and delivery.

The levy can be used to pay for End Point Assessments, but not the registration or certification of non-mandatory qualifications.

Questions about apprenticeship costs and funding?

Speak to our advisors on +44(0)20 3735 2434, book a meeting with our employer team or download your apprenticeship guide. We can help you decide on the right apprenticeship for your business and identify a local training provider.Our lines are open Monday to Friday 09.00–17.00 UK time.