New funding rules: a boost for small business

The Government’s new proposals for apprenticeship funding will benefit small businesses and young people from diverse backgrounds, says Jake Tween

Small businesses will receive more support for apprenticeships under new rules released by Government this week, which come into effect in May 2017. Instead of paying a full third of the cost of apprenticeships, as per current rules, non-levy paying employers (those who pay bills of under £3M) will pay just 10%, with the Government paying the remaining 90%.

This is great news for smaller employers who want to make the most of apprenticeships but are concerned about making up costs from their often limited training budgets.

There are also positive changes for employers delivering apprenticeships to young people aged 16-18. The current discount scheme will be replaced with a £2,000 incentive payment, evenly split between the employer and the education training provider.

Employers with fewer than 50 staff who deliver apprenticeships to young people (16-18) will no longer receive the £1,500 AGE grant (expiring at the end of the 16/17 academic year) and will instead have their apprenticeships funded in full by the Government. 

These significant changes will really help young people from all backgrounds take their first steps into work – and also help small employers recruit young talent into these positions.

Apprenticeships for all?

But it’s not just young apprentices who’ll benefit from the new rules. Under the new rules, there'll be an increase to 15 funding caps for standards, which means there will be more funding available for the Level 3 Management Trailblazer - up to £5,000 from £4,500.

The new rules also mean that those employers who want to deliver leadership and management apprenticeships to staff who are highly qualified in their technical role (including graduates) will get funding to do so. Individuals will now be able to undertake an apprenticeship at the same level or lower than a qualification they already hold – as long as they ‘acquire substantive new skills and the content of the training is materially different from any prior training or a previous apprenticeship.’

See the full list of DfE apprenticeship funding changes.

Read more about Trailblazer Apprenticeships

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