9th April 2021

Apprenticeships vital for recovery from COVID disruption

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Develop individuals. Develop companies.

That is the finding from research commissioned by the Open University and The 5% Club, which reveals that 70% of employers believe that apprenticeships and work-based learning will be vital to their organisation’s recovery from COVID disruption.

With 89% of business leaders in England who hire apprentices agreeing that apprenticeships enable their organisation to proactively build its future, the recently increased government incentives for employing apprentices mean there has never been a better time to invest in an apprenticeship.

What incentives are available?

Employers will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021. This is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 with an education, health, and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority

Employers who hired an apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 will still receive an incentive payment though it is slightly less generous and is dependant on the age of the apprentice.

Employers who hired an apprentice aged 16 to 24, will receive £2,000, and there is an incentive of £1,500 for hiring an apprentice aged 25 and over between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Applying for the incentive payment

You must apply for the for the incentive payment for apprentices hired between August 2020 and March 2021 before 31 May 2021.

Incentive payments for apprentices hired between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 can be claimed between 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021.

What you can use the payment for

The payment is different to apprenticeship levy funds, so you can spend it on anythingto 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 1st August 2020 and 30th September 2021.

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

How to apply

You can apply for the incentive payment after you add new apprentices to your apprenticeship service account.

You must set up an apprenticeship service account to apply.

Find out more

With 66% of organisations reporting that apprenticeships have enabled their organisation to bounce back from the economic fall-out, can you afford not to invest in your organisation’s future?

You can read the Open university’s Build the Future Apprenticeship Survey Report here

Find out more about the apprenticeships offered by MBKB on our website

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