The ESFA introduced payments to support employers who hire new apprentices between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021. You can apply for these payments until 30 April 2021. Therefore, if you take on new apprentices from 1 February 2021, you can apply between 1 February 2021 – 30 April 2021.
In short, for eligible apprentices aged 16 to 24, employers will receive £2,000. Whereas for those aged 25 and over, employers will receive £1,500. These incentives are claimed on the Digital Apprenticeship Service, so you will need your organisation’s bank details so the ESFA can pay your organisation directly.
You can only apply for new apprentices who joined your organisation from 1 August 2020 to 31 March 2021. This also includes if you recruit apprentices who have been made redundant. 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 to apply
You can apply for an incentive payment after you have added new apprentices to your digital apprenticeship service account. You can apply until 30 April 2021. The ESFA has produced a video step by step guide detailing how to make an incentive claim via the Digital Apprenticeship Service.
When you’ll get paid
This is a direct agreement between your organisation and the ESFA. Payment is made in two equal instalments for each apprentice. The first payment is after an apprentice completes 90 days of their apprenticeship and the second is after 365 days. To receive the full payment, the apprenticeship must last for at least one year. Bacs provides payments on the 14th working day of the month (usually taking three working days to process). After you apply, you can view the estimated payment dates for each apprentice in your digital apprenticeship service account.