Government doubles apprentice payments to £3,000 for all new hires


Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the much anticipated budget, which outlined a three-part plan to ‘protect the jobs and livelihoods of our people.’

Protect the jobs and livelihoods of our people

Protecting, creating and supporting jobs was outlined as the highest priority, with the Chancellor explaining the need to take action to give people the skills they require to get into ‘decent, well-paid jobs.’

One of the most popular announcements was an extension and increase for apprenticeship cash incentives. The boost to the incentives means that employers hiring new apprentices are set to benefit from payments of up to £4,000!


What does the budget mean for apprenticeships?

Doubling Incentive Payments

  • £3,000 per apprentice hire – employers in England will be able to claim £3,000 for each new apprentice they hire, of any age. The scheme will run from 1 April – 30 September 2021.
  • £4,000 per apprentice hire – for employers hiring new apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is due to the additional existing £1,000 payment already in place.

Portable Apprenticeships

  • A new ‘flexi-job’ programme was announced which will see apprentices able to work for different employers within the same industry, whilst undertaking their apprenticeship. A new £7 million fund will be made available from July 2021 to help employers set up and expand portable apprenticeships.


  • The government also plan to triple the number of traineeships (sometimes referred to as pre-apprenticeships) with an additional £126 million being made available for traineeships in England.

Lifetime Skills Guarantee

  • The Chancellor briefly mentioned the Lifetime Skills Guarantee programme, which was announced in September. It offers adults without an A level or equivalent the opportunity to study free, fully-funded qualifications.

Commenting on the announcement, Gregg Scott, Realise’s Managing Director, said:

“We are delighted to see apprenticeships recognised as a credible solution to get the country back on track after the impact of Covid-19.

“As one of the largest training providers in England, Realise have long-championed apprenticeships and the benefits they bring to learners, employers and our communities.

“If any businesses are considering hiring a new apprentice and taking up the new incentive, I would encourage you to start a conversation with the team at Realise.”

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