Apprenticeship training is now fully funded for SME’s employing apprentices up to the age of 21 - Cambridge Regional College
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Apprenticeship training is now fully funded for SME’s employing apprentices up to the age of 21

The UK government announced a major reform package in the March 2024 budget which came into force from 1st April to encourage and make it easier for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to take on a young person through an apprenticeship.

Full Funding for Apprenticeship Training in Small and Medium Sized Businesses: 

Starting from 1st April 2024, the government will fully fund apprenticeships in non-levy paying small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This means that the government will cover the entire cost of training for apprentices up to the age of 21, previously only fully funded for small enterprises with less than 50 employees for apprentices aged 16-18.  Businesses who did not meet these criteria were previously expected to contribute 5% of the training costs.  

Medium-sized employers no longer need to contribute to the cost of training, streamlining the process and creating more opportunities for young people to kick-start their careers. 

Increased Funding Transfer for Levy-Paying Employers: 

Employers who pay the apprenticeship levy will now have the ability to transfer a larger portion of their unused levy funds to other businesses. 

Under the new measures, large employers can transfer up to 50% of their levy funds to support other businesses, including smaller firms. This move aims to encourage SMEs to take on apprentices and reduce costs for employers. 

By removing this financial barrier, the government aims to encourage more SMEs to take on apprentices and invest in the future workforce.

How to Get Started

If you’re interested in taking on an apprentice or upskilling your existing employees through apprenticeships, or other training and development opportunities, our business skills advisors are on hand to help you. Reach out to our team at or call 01223 428820.

To explore the apprenticeships CRC offers, visit our apprenticeship website area

NB. These changes are based on the official government announcement as of March 18, 2024.

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