Apprenticeship Employer Incentives Extended
The employer apprenticeship new hire incentives first announced in the Plan for Jobs have been extended until the end of January 2022.
The scheme originally ran from August 2020 to March 2021 and was extended from April 2021 to September 2021. Last week the Chancellor announced a further extension to cover the period October 2021 until the end of January 2022. As of September 2021 over 101,000 incentives had been paid out to employers.
There are two points providers should note. Firstly the April 2021 to October 2021 scheme has a hard close on the 30th of November where employers will no longer be able to lodge a claim after this date for employment starts during this period. Remember the rules allow for the actual apprenticeship training to commence at a slightly later date - in essence, the employee must be employed between April 2021 and September 2021 but can commence their apprenticeship at any point before the end of November 2021 and still be eligible for an incentive. But if the employer doesn't claim for the incentive in time then the incentive is lost.
The ESFA has now provided an update on the new scheme extension which runs from October 2021 until January 2022. In the update, the ESFA state that applications (by employers) for incentives related to this period will only open in January 2022 - this is a change in the process whereas the earlier iterations of the scheme employers could start to apply once the apprentice had been employed, started their apprenticeship and passed the qualifying period. This is something providers should make their employers aware of.