In Wales, apprenticeships are fully funded by the Welsh Government.
- The funding covers apprentices if they're over 16, living in Wales and not in full-time education. The eligibility criteria differs between apprenticeships
- The cost of an apprenticeship depends on the level and subject of the qualification, but the cost is always covered in full
- Occasionally there are incentives to help employers grow their business by hiring apprentices. In 2021, the employer incentive scheme is supporting employers in Wales
The Employer Incentive Scheme is awarded by the Welsh Government and encourages businesses to take on apprentices specialising in a huge variety of vocations, including engineering, childcare, IAG, health & social and leadership & management.
The scheme has been extended until 28 February 2022, so if you didn't apply by October 2021, time is still on your side. To get the full details about each incentive available, download our free and easy introduction guide to the Employer Incentive Scheme.
The £18.7 million programme aimed to increase the number of people in work and provide them with a pathway into employment, training or education.
Employers in Wales could have received up to £40,000 in grants if they recruited up to 10 new apprentices, creating opportunities to upskill your workforce and grow your business, all while helping to alleviate financial pressure.
The scheme was launched in August 2020 and has recruited in excess of 1,300 apprentices.
Employers are awarded up to £4,000 for each apprentice they recruit*
*The Welsh Government employer incentive promises £4,000 for every apprentice recruited who are between 16-24 years old and up to £2,000 for every apprentice over the age of 25.
If you'd like to know more about the employer incentive scheme, get in touch.
Apprenticeship funding for employers in Wales
Any organisation in Wales that takes on a new, young apprentice aged 16-24 for at least 30 hours a week, can claim up to £4,000 per apprentice via the Welsh Government's incentive fund.
If you hire 10 young apprentices, you could be awarded up to £40,000.
There were different bands of incentive available, to make the scheme inclusive and flexible for every aspiring apprentice, whether they're young, more experienced, or have barriers to learning.
The Welsh Government designed the scheme with opportunity in mind, so you can recruit the right apprentice into your organisation.
What funding will you receive?
100% of the apprenticeship course fees will be covered by the Welsh Government. If you applied for the Employer Incentive Scheme, all fees were covered, but you receive an extra sum per apprentice.
How much you were awarded relies on the age of the apprentice, their circumstances, whether they've already been made redundant, and how many hours they are contracted to work for you.
Employing an apprentice who was made redundant from their previous apprenticeship
You can hire apprentices who have been made redundant. The only proviso is that they're on the same framework pathway as before they were made redundant.
You must commit to employing the apprentice for at least the time it would take them to complete their apprenticeship.
If you're re-employing a redundant apprentice, the incentive is worth £2,600. They must complete their apprenticeship in the same framework pathway and their contract of employment must be at least 30 hours per week.
Where the contract of employment is at least 16 hours per week, but less than 30 hours, the incentive is worth £1,300. Again, that's when you're reemploying an apprentice, so they can complete their apprenticeship on the framework they started before redundancy.
Employing a new apprentice
If the apprentice is aged between 16 and 24 years old on the start date of employment and the contract of employment is for at least 30 hours per week, the incentive is worth £4,000.
£2,000 is available if the apprentice is aged between 16 and 24 years old on the start date of employment and the contract of employment is less than 30 hours per week.
If the apprentice is aged 25 or over on the start date of employment and the contract of employment is for at least 30 hours per week, £2,000 is available.
£1,000 is available if the apprentice is aged 25 or over on the start date of employment and the contract of employment is less than 30 hours per week.
Additional Disability Incentive
Employers who recruit a disabled apprentice are eligible to receive an additional uplift of £1,500 per learner. This uplift is additional to the payment above.
The learner’s disability can be self-declared and must be identified at the point of recruitment. You, as the employer, must be aware of their disability before you decide to recruit.
Download the TSW Apprenticeships Employer Incentive flyer
If you'd like to know more about the employer incentive scheme, download our flyer which gives you the funding details at a glance.
Eligibility and apprenticeship funding rules
In order to attract the incentive, each apprentice must:
- Meet the full eligibility criteria for the apprenticeship
- Be directly recruited as an apprentice
- Be employed for at least 16 hours per week and not be employed on a zero hours contract
- Not have been employed by the employer within the six months prior to the employment contract start date (unless the apprentice is eligible for the
- Additional Disability Incentive and they were recruited from 2 March 2020, in which case this criteria does not apply)
- Have a contract of employment start date between 1 March 2020 and 28 February 2022 (inclusive)
In order to attract the incentive, each employer must:
- Provide a contract of employment confirming employment start date and weekly hours of employment
- Commit to employing the apprentice for at least the time taken to complete their apprenticeship
- Complete an Employer Declaration
- Not have recruited more than 10 apprentices under the incentive
Bands of funding available in 2021:
When will you receive the grants?
The incentives are paid in two parts:
- 50% after the apprentice has been employed for 4 weeks and is still undertaking their apprenticeship – payments are made on a monthly basis so it could be up to 2 months before you receive your first payment
- 50% after the apprentice has been employed for 270 days and is still undertaking their apprenticeship – payments are made on a monthly basis so it could be up to 10 months before you receive your second payment
So long as your business is registered in Wales, any operation regardless of its size or sector is eligible.
You can recruit up to 10 apprentices and the bands of funding typically rely on the apprentice's age and how many hours a week they work, but there are exceptions. For instance, the funding available for disability apprenticeships is available regardless of the apprentice's age.
The funding isn't available for workers on zero-hour contracts, or shared apprenticeship models.
You can find the full terms and conditions, plus the types of funding available on the Welsh Government's website.
Framework funding rates
All apprenticeships in Wales are fully funded, so you won't pay a penny towards the cost of apprenticeship course fees.
How much an apprenticeship costs depends on the level and subject of the apprenticeship. But neither the apprentice or their employer foot the bill of developing skills and abilities.
The Welsh Government and European Social fund covers 100% of the cost.
The Welsh Government has published a Framework Funding Rates document, to help you see how much an apprenticeship would cost at each level. For example, in July 2020, a Level 5 in Children's Care, Play and Leadership Development would cost £5,023.
However, the employer is responsible for paying the apprentice salary and supporting training costs.