Employers in the West of England – specifically those located within Bath & North East Somerset, the City of Bristol and South Gloucestershire – can now benefit from a Department for Education-funded incentive to help them meet the costs associated with recruiting and training a young person on an apprenticeship.

Key points of the new scheme include:

  • New funding rules designed to help tackle local skills and apprenticeship priorities;
  • Up to £12,500 available per business recruiting up to five apprentices aged 16-24;
  • One of its key aims is to grow the number of young people from BAME backgrounds starting an apprenticeship.

The West of England Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) programme launched on 1 August 2016 and is offering grants of £1,500 to all eligible employers employing fewer than 250 staff, with “incentive grants” of £2,500 available to companies whose apprenticeships meet certain criteria.

For the first time in the Bristol and Bath city region, under a newly devolved programme, higher grants will be paid to employers to help tackle local skills and apprenticeship priorities. To be eligible for the £2,500 grant employers need to do at least one of the below:

  • Work in the construction industry;
  • Recruit apprentices on to Advanced or Higher-Level programmes or those focussed on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM);
  • Successfully recruit new apprentices from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

With eligible employers able to apply for up to five grants each, local small businesses could benefit from up to £12,500 in support of their apprenticeship activity.

To find out more about the West of England Apprenticeship Grant for Employers Programme visit the Apprenticeship Hub website.

For further details, please contact the West of England LEP: apprenticeships@westofengland.org or 0117 943 4859.