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Increase to incentive payments for hiring a new Apprentice

Wednesday 14 April, 2021

Apprenticeships will be more important than ever in helping businesses to recruit the right people and develop the skills they need to recover and grow – both now and in the long-term. Due to the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak the government introduced incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice to help organisations offer new apprenticeship positions.

Apprentices who started before 1 April 2021

Employers who hired a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 must apply before the 31st May 2021 for:

  • £2,000 for each new apprentice aged 16 to 24
  • £1,500 for each new apprentice 25 and over

Apprentices who started from 1 April 2021

Employers will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. You will be able to apply for incentive payments for these apprentices from 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021.

What can you use the payment for?

The payment is different to apprenticeship levy funds, so you can spend it on anything to support your organisation’s costs. For example, on uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary. You do not have to pay it back.


You can only apply for new apprentices who joined your organisation between 1 August 2020 and 30 September 2021.

You cannot apply for an existing employee who joined your organisation before 1 August 2020, even if they started an apprenticeship after this date.

How the incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice works

You will get the payment in 2 equal instalments. You will be eligible for 50% of the payment 90 days after the apprentice’s start date, and the remaining 50% after the apprentice completes 365 days of their apprenticeship.

Supporting an apprentice in your workplace with SEACs assistance

If you would like to support an apprentice in your workplace but do not want to employ direct then SEAC can employ the apprentice on your behalf. We will take care of everything!

We can advise you on the apprenticeship type, job description, recruitment of a shortlist of candidates for your final interview/selection, arrange the training and organise the funding. Once recruited they will attend your workplace like any other employee but SEAC will take full employment responsibility for everything from contracts, payroll, support and management of issues. We will also take care of the application for the hire a new apprentice incentive and forward the payments to you in full when received.

To find out more contact us