Important Changes to Eligibility for the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers

Ministers and HM Treasury agree reforms for Apprenticeship Grant for Employers

20 August 2012

Ministers and HM Treasury have formally agreed a series of reforms for the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE). This will represent a positive move, as it opens up the grant to a wider range of employers and has made the conditions for the grant more attractive to them.

An official announcement will be made in the last week of August as part of the Holt review. However City & Guilds wanted to take the opportunity to inform its centres right away so they can start contacting any employers they work with now.

The changes are as follows:

  1. Employers will be paid the full amount of £1500 13 weeks after the apprentice starts, rather than in two instalments of £750 at weeks 8 and 52. This will improve the employer’s cash flow (particularly the smaller employers) and remove yet another barrier to taking on an apprentice.
  2. The scheme will now be extended to medium-sized employers (companies employing up to 1000 employees); previously it was only open to small employers (companies employing no more than 250 employees). However at least 50% of the grants (20,000 of the 40,000 grants available) will still be held back for smaller employers.
  3. The maximum number of grants a single employer can claim will be increased from three to ten. This will enable the employer to take on a much larger number of apprentices, which will particularly benefit medium sized employers.
  4. The rule informally known as the "3 year rule" will be relaxed so that an employer will be eligible for AGE if they have not employed an apprentice in the last 12 months. This means a lot more employers will be eligible for the grant as they only need to wait 12 months (instead of three years) before they can hire another apprentice.

There are three groups of employers that both the National Apprenticeship Service and City & Guilds recommend centres should contact:

  • Employers who have previously applied and been accepted for AGE under the old "split payment".
  • Employers who have previously applied and been turned down for AGE, but would now be eligible under the new rules.
  • Employers who did not previously apply for AGE but may be eligible under the new rules. This group should be dealt with on a case by case basis.

If you have any questions please contact your City & Guilds Business Manager or email


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