Are Apprenticeships Free?

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Are Apprenticeships Free?

Most people think that apprenticeships are for school leavers only, which is a common misconception. Government funding has gone through reforms lately and this has changed the age and face of apprenticeships. Today, if you are aged 16 or over, you can apply for an apprenticeship. This includes career changers, school leavers, and those who want to improve their skills on the job. In this article, we are going to talk about if apprenticeships are free.

From the point of view of an employer, apprenticeships offer different advantages for school leavers and those who are over the age of 24. Some employers prefer candidates who are mature and experienced. Generally, employment costs are relatively lower for those who are between the ages of 16 and 18 as apprentices. For them, they receive plenty of funding.

Employees have their own reasons for hiring apprentices. For instance, they may need to create fresh opportunities for school leavers. Some of them want to mentor young talent in order to help them suit the culture of the company.

If you want to find out if an apprenticeship is right for you, you need to consider a lot of factors, such as funding wages and what you want to achieve from your career.

Apprenticeship Wages

As an apprentice, the minimum wage you can receive is £4.30 per hour regardless of your age during the first year of training. Once you have completed the first year of training and your age is more than 19, you may earn an even higher hourly rate. In other words, you will earn the minimum wage rate for your age group.

Employees are encouraged to pay more than the minimum wage rate, but this is not guaranteed. If you are an older candidate, the lower wage rate may put you off since you have financial obligations. 

As an apprentice, you may satisfy the eligibility criteria for Universal Credit income support. But this is limited and is dependent upon your living situation and finances. Therefore, if you are happy with day National Minimum Wage rate, you can go for it.

Apprenticeship Funding 

If you want to apply for an apprenticeship, your training cost will be paid by your employer. In other words, you won’t need to pay for your training. As a matter of fact, big employers use their apprenticeship levy contributions for the prepayment of their apprenticeship cost. 

Small to medium-sized businesses have the liberty to claim government funding. This type of funding can pay for between 95% and 100% of the cost of training apprentices.

For employers, funding availability depends upon the apprentice age and the business. Today, employers receive different types of incentive payments for having apprentices from all age groups. Employers who hire younger candidates can receive higher payments.

Funding rules for apprentices aged 16-18 

If you are between 16 and 18 years old, your employer can claim an incentive payment of up to 4000 Euros upon hiring new apprentices. If there is a small business with fewer than 50 employees, all of their training fees will be covered by the government.

Therefore, if you belong to this age group, you can become an apprentice and start your career in your desired field. Apart from this, your age can benefit you even more if you want to work in a small company.

Funding rules for apprentices aged 19+ 

Currently, employers can claim payment of as much as 3000 euros for hiring a new apprentice that belongs to the age group of 19+. Similarly, a small and medium-sized business can enjoy coverage of up to 95% of the cost of training. These incentives have made it easier for many people to apply for apprenticeships. 

Therefore, an apprenticeship is free for both employers and employees in certain situations. Contact us to know more.


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