Apprenticeship Restrictions Lifted for Small Businesses

For the last 6 years, smaller companies with a payroll of less than £3 million per year have been capped on the amount of apprenticeship funding they can access – affecting the majority of companies with up to 100 employees. Limits were set by government each year and ranged from only 3 employees to 10 employees each year could access apprenticeship funds.

The good news is that from 3rd April 2023, the government have now lifted all restrictions, which means all employers, regardless of size, can access funding for all their people, subject to their employees meeting the minimum eligibility criteria:

  • Work in a company with an office address in England OR
  • Spend > 50% of their time working in England
  • Work > 30 hours per week
  • Have the right to work in England
  • Have lived in the UK or the EU for the last 3 years
  • Be aged 16 or above (No upper age limit)
  • Not have a higher qualification in the same subject area as the apprenticeship they wish to commence

The Rt Hon Robert Halfron MP the Skills Minister confirmed in a letter to the apprenticeship sector that smaller employers who do not pay into the Apprenticeship Levy are no longer limited to a maximum of 10 new apprenticeship starts. They will be able to enrol as many employees as they wish onto apprenticeship programmes, subject to the basic eligibility criteria specified above.

This government change is designed to help organisations fill gaps in knowledge and skill, increase performance and productivity and should help with  the retention of key employees

What apprenticeship options are available?

There are now over 650 approved apprenticeship training programmes available in the UK, ranging from level 2 up to level 7. The Top 100 most popular apprenticeships can be seen here.

Apprenticeships offered by the Apprentice Academy include: Accountancy, Data Analysis, Procurement,Management, Business Administration and Property Management. All the programmes are delivered online and available across England. Professional qualifications like AAT and CIPS are included which are very attractive to employees who are looking for development opportunities, which can help employers with their upskilling and retention strategies.

For more information on apprenticeships or funding contact us today.