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Employers

Funding an apprenticeship for non levy employers

How much it costs

If you're an employer who doesn't pay the apprenticeship levy, or if you're a levy-paying employer but don't have enough funds, you'll need to pay 5% of the training and assessment costs for your apprentice. The government will cover the rest, up to the funding band maximum.

You'll make payments directly to the training provider and agree on a payment schedule. For new starts from 1 April 2024, for employers who do not pay the levy, the government will fully fund apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum for apprentices who at the start of their apprenticeship training are aged between:

  • 16 and 21 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August)
  • 22 and 24 years old and: - has either an education, health and care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority

For starts before 31 March 2024, for employers who have fewer than 50 employees, the government will fully fund apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum, for apprentices who at the start of their apprenticeship training are aged between:

  • 16 and 18 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August); or
  • 19 and 24 years old and has either an education, health and care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority

If you negotiate a price above the funding band maximum, you’ll need to pay the difference between these values.

You'll need to create an apprenticeship service account to reserve apprenticeship funding. For further information visit our help article or watch our video.

Paying your apprentice

You’re responsible for paying your apprentice for their normal working hours and any training they do as part of the apprenticeship.

You must pay them at least the National Minimum Wage rate depending on their age and the year of apprenticeship training they’re in.

REMOVE : The rates from April 2022 are:

ApprenticeUnder 1919 to 2021 to 2223 and over
In 1st year£4.81£4.81£4.81£4.81
Have completed 1st year£4.81£6.83£9.18£9.50

Paying employer National Insurance contributions

Employers may not need to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for an apprentice, if the apprentice is:

  • under 25 years old
  • on an approved UK government apprenticeship standard or framework (these can differ depending on country)
  • earns less than £967 a week (£50,270 a year)

The apprentice, as an employee, will continue to pay Class 1 insurance contributions through their salary, this will only benefit the employer.

Read HMRC's guidance on paying National Insurance contributions.

Find a business to fund your apprenticeship costs

Large levy-paying businesses who pay the apprenticeship levy can pledge up to 50% of their unspent levy funds to a business of their choice.

You can apply to receive a transfer of funds to cover 100% of your apprenticeship training and assessment costs (up to the funding band maximum).

You can view all live pledges using our public website. Read our guidance on GOV.UK for further information on how to apply.

View current pledges

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