Apprenticeship funding: What employers need to know 

Apprenticeship funding is divided into Levy and Non-Levy employers.  

Non-Levy employers 

If your business has a payroll of less than £3 million, fewer than 50 employees and you’re not part of a larger group of companies, you will not have to make any contribution for apprentices aged 16 to 18, or 19 to 24 who have been in care or have an education, health and care plan from their Local Authority.  

If you have 50+ employees, you’ll pay just 5% of the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. The government will pay the rest, up to the funding band maximum.  

Larger organisations can pledge to use part of their unspent levy to fund apprenticeships for smaller businesses. Check out Funding an apprenticeship for more information.  

Levy employers  

Businesses with payroll over £3 million pay a 0.5% levy on their total payroll through PAYE, offset by a government allowance. This money sits in a digital account and can only be used to pay for apprenticeships. The government top up the funds in your account by 10%. 

If you don’t have enough money in your account to fund your apprenticeship, you will pay 5% of the balance and the government will pay the rest up to the funding band maximum for each apprenticeship. 

If you have money left over in your account, you can transfer up to 25% to fund apprenticeships for a business of your choice. Check out Funding an apprenticeship for more information.  

How to apply for funding 

To qualify for apprenticeship funding, you’ll need to create an account on the Digital Account Service. We can support you with this.
For further information about funding, visit the government’s Funding an apprenticeship page.  

Paying your apprentice 

You’re responsible for paying your apprentice for their working hours and the training they do as part of the apprenticeship programme. You must pay them at least the National Minimum Wage.  

The current minimum hourly rate for an apprentice is £5.28*. If the apprentice is aged 19+, they can be paid the minimum apprenticeship wage for a maximum of 12 months. After that they must be paid the minimum wage for their age.  

* Correct as of April 2023. Subject to change. 

National Insurance contributions 

If your apprentice is under 25 years old, on an approved standard and earns less than £967 a week, you may not need to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions. For more information, check out Paying employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices under 25. 

Find out more about our apprenticeships