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Blog > News category > Changes to the Apprenticeship Age Grant benefit employers

10 August 2016 /

Changes to the Apprenticeship Age Grant benefit employers

Since 1st August 2016, the administration of the Apprenticeship Age Grant has beed devolved to the NEW ANGLIA LEP resulting in some significant changes for the benefit of employesr and apprentices.

Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) of 16 to 24 yearolds in Norfolk and Suffolk supports businesses that would not otherwise be in a position to support individuals aged 16 to 24 into employment through the Apprenticeship programme.This information is relevant to employers starting anapprentice from August 2016 in a business with a postcode within Norfolk orSuffolk. If your business is outside of this area, you should refer towww.gov.uk for details of the national AGE scheme.

The scheme is being administered by Norfolk County Council on behalf of both counties. The grant will be offered to those employers who are eligible and such employers may receive up to 5 grants in any one-year period. The value of each grant is as follows:

  • £2000 for each apprentice who is aged 16 to 18 at the time they start their Apprenticeship;
  • £1500 for each apprentice who is aged 19 to 24 at the time they start their Apprenticeship.

The grant will be paid as a lump sum direct to the employer’s nominated bank account once the apprentice has completed 10 weeks on the Apprenticeship programme and the necessary paperwork has been received.

So, which Employers are eligible? To be eligible, employers must:

  • Have fewer than 250 employees in total;
  • Start a new employee on an Apprenticeship or place an existing employee on an Apprenticeship programme on or after the 1 August 2016;
  • Commit to continuously employ that apprentice for a minimum of 12 months or as long as it takes them to complete the Apprenticeship;
  • Confirm that you are aware of and do not breach any state aid rules by receiving the grant;
  • Agree to pay the apprentice in line with legal minimum requirements or more;
  • Ensure that the apprenticeship is delivered by a training organisation that is funded by the Government to deliver Apprenticeship Frameworks.
  • For the purposes of this grant, the start date for the Apprenticeship is taken to be the date at which the Employer, Learner and Training Provider sign the Apprenticeship Agreement.

Which apprentices qualify? To qualify, an apprentice must be:

  • Aged 16 to 24 at the start date of their Apprenticeship
  • Enrolled on an Apprenticeship Framework. (Starts on Apprenticeship Standards are not eligible)
  • Working with an employer based in Norfolk or Suffolk
  • Eligible for Apprenticeship funding from the Skills Funding Agency
  • Eligible to work in England
  • Starting a new Apprenticeship framework or progressing from a lower level onto an Advanced or Higher Level Apprenticeship

How do employers apply? Employers in Norfolk or Suffolk, once they have selected an apprentice and the start date has been agreed, should go to www.apprenticeshipsnorfolk.org/agegrant and complete an online application form for AGE. The following details will be required:

  • Name of Business
  • Name of the Apprentice*
  • Apprentice Date of Birth*
  • Name of Training Provider or College delivering the training.
  • Address of Business where the apprentice will be employed
  • Telephone Number
  • Name of contact within business
  • Email address
  • Bank Details (so that payment of the grant can be made)

*Employers must seek permission from the apprentice to share these details with Norfolk County Council for the sole purpose of claiming the grant before submitting an application. It is recommended that this permission be obtained in writing.

Once the first stage of the application is completed, a password should be created which will allow login to the site after 10 weeks. The online system will issue a reminder to employers after 10 weeks to remind them to provide documentary evidence that the apprentice is still employed and in learning. This should be provided electronically by the training provider or college and can take the form of a progress review or a record of support or assessment. This must be signed by the employer, apprentice and the College or Training Provider representative. Once we have checked this document and verified your claim, we will make payment to the nominated bank account within 28 days. If there are any queries or issues, the authority will be in touch by telephone or by email to ask for clarification.

This payment is in the form of a grant and therefore it is exempt from VAT.

Employers should note that if the apprentice leaves or is not in learning after 10 weeks, eligibility for any proportion of the grant will lapse.

Employers who have already received a grant for an apprentice under this scheme and who apply for a further grant (maximum of 5) will be asked to provide evidence that the original apprentice is still employed on an Apprenticeship or has completed their qualification in full. If this is not the case, we reserve the right to withhold or refuse to pay any further grant.

Next Steps

Contact Norfolk Training Services for help with recruiting an apprentice or to enrol him/her on an Apprenticeship if they are already employed by you - apprenticeships@norfolktrainingservices.co.uk or 01603 259900 ext #255.