Small to Medium Employer

Apprenticeship Funding

As a small to medium sized employer (with 50+ employees and a pay bill of less than £3 million) you’ll receive ‘co-investment’ funding from the Government.

This means the Government will pay 100% of the Apprenticeship training costs for apprentices aged up to 21.

For apprentices aged over 21, the Government will pay 95% of the Apprenticeship training costs and you will only pay the remaining 5%.
If you require support paying the 5% training contribution, you may be eligible to receive 'Levy Transfer' monies.
Many large companies have donated their Levy funds to support smaller businesses with workplace training costs.  Funding networks operate across the country to support companies access Levy money transfers. These include the Lancashire Levy Transfer Network, Greater Manchester Levy Matchmaking Service and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Levy Transfer Service.

In addition, if your apprentice is aged:
• 16-18; or
• 19-24 and is a care leaver or has a Local Authority Education, Health & Care Plan
... you’ll receive a £1,000 bonus per apprentice, paid in two equal instalments*.

As an employer you may not need to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for your apprentice, if the apprentice:
• is aged under 25 years old.
• earns less than £967 a week (£50,270 a year).

This may mean that you receive more money back than you spend on Apprenticeship training. For example:

Total cost of Apprenticeship = £5,000
Employer co-investment (5%) = £250 plus VAT#
Government incentive payment for a 16-18 year old = £1,000
Employer gain = £750

Please note: as apprentices are employees of your company, you are responsible for paying apprentices at least the minimum wage.

*Incentive payments are made in two equal instalments of £500; the first after the apprentice has been on programme for three months and the second after the apprentice has been on programme for 12 months.  It may take up to nine weeks after the payment dates for the funds to be processed and transferred.

#VAT may be recoverable if you are a VAT registered company.

How much will co-investment cost?

Each Apprenticeship programme will fall into one of the ‘funding bands’ ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. Therefore the 5% cost you will have to pay will depend on which funding band the type of Apprenticeship you wish the apprentice to do falls into.

The below example is for £3,000

Total cost of Apprenticeship £3,000
Employer co-investment (5%)
(payable monthly by instalments)
£150 + VAT*
Maximum Government Co-investment (95%) £2,850


*VAT may be recoverable if you are a VAT registered company.

Is co-investment funding just for recruiting a new apprentice?

Not at all. You can recruit new apprentices and put existing or new staff members, including graduates, on an Apprenticeship programme and access co-investment funding.

Apprenticeship training for existing employees must develop new or different skills.

What is an Apprenticeship Service Account?

All employers in England need to create an Apprenticeship Service Account. This is an online account that will allow you to manage your training and reserve Government funding and incentives online.

Your Apprenticeship Service Account, will provide access to a range of services and allow you to select the training that is right for you.

How do I set up my Apprenticeship Service account?

Our Employer Engagement Team is available to discuss the range of Apprenticeship Standards available to help your team develop; while our Apprenticeship Service Engagement Team (ASET) can provide expert support and advice in creating and managing your online account.

ASET have been supporting companies to create accounts and navigate the system since 2017; combined with the fact we have our own NLTG account, we know first-hand how easy the system is to use.

ASET will be delighted to help you set up your account.  We can also manage your account for you, saving you time and letting you concentrate on growing your business!

Don’t miss out, call us today on 01254 300779 or email: and watch our handy guide of how to set up your account.

What are Apprenticeship Levy funds transfers?

Employers who pay the Apprenticeship Levy are able to transfer unused Levy funds to other organisations, to pay for Apprenticeship training and assessment. A maximum of 50% of a company’s annual Levy funds may be transferred, which is calculated from the total amount of Levy declared during the previous tax year.

Transfers have been introduced in response to employer demand, allowing Levy paying employers to spend some of their funding to help develop the workforce of other employers, perhaps in their supply chain.

Levy paying employers are able to transfer funds to any employer and will have to agree the Apprenticeships that are being funded by a transfer, with the employer receiving the funds. Employers receiving transferred funds will be able to use them to pay for training and assessment for Apprenticeship Standards and the transfer must cover the cost in full.

For more information visit the transferring unused apprenticeship funds to other employers page on GOV.UK, read this blog on 7 pointers to help employers prepare for transfers on the apprenticeship service and take a look at this short video.

Levy transfer networks operate across the country and are designed to match businesses seeking support to fund Apprenticeship training, with Levy companies that want to donate unused Apprenticeship Levy monies.  Transfer networks include the Lancashire Levy Transfer Network, Greater Manchester Levy Matchmaking Service and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Levy Transfer Service.