West of England Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE 16-24)

**Notice to Training Providers: we are now CLOSED for applications.  If you have had a claim for Apprentices based in the West of England rejected by the SFA, please get in touch.**

Funding has now been allocated for over 700 Apprenticeships in the West of England devolved area.  We are now closed for applications from Training Providers but if you are an Employer interested in recruiting a new Apprentice, please contact one of our  West of England AGE Providers for more information.

Claim up to £2,500 in Grants of either £1,500 or £2,500 when you hire an Apprentice!

The West of England Apprenticeship Grant for Employers is an incentive scheme for employers who wish to employ an apprentice. It provides a grant to help support an employer’s costs associated with employing and training a young person on an apprenticeship.

Is my business eligible to claim the basic £1,500 apprenticeship grant?

An employer will be eligible where they meet the following criteria:

  • They are based within the programme area, that being the administrative boundaries of the Local Authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City and South Gloucestershire
  • They have fewer than 250 employees
  • They have declared that they are not able to take on an Apprentice/s without an AGE grant

Is my business eligible to claim the incentive £2,500 apprenticeship grant?

An employer will be eligible where they meet the following criteria:

  • They are based within the programme area, that being the administrative boundaries of the Local Authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City and South Gloucestershire
  • They have fewer than 250 employees
  • They have declared that they are not able to take on an Apprentice/s without an AGE grant
  • They take on an Apprentice that meets one or more of the following incentive criteria:
    • STEM
    • Construction
    • Level 3 or Higher
    • BAME

For further information please see Eligibility Criteria V2

Here is a full list of Construction SIC codes

As an Employer you can claim for up to 5 grants

How do I receive these grants?

Next steps – Choose your preferred Provider

To recruit an Apprentice today and access the grant, contact your chosen provider or go to the West of England AGE Provider List For further information please contact apprenticeships@westofengland.org

If you have a specific question related to the West of England Apprenticeship Grant for Employers call 0117 943 4859

For further information view the AGE Employer briefingv2

Provider Information

Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) will replace the Skills Funding Agency in administering the Apprentice Grant for Employers (AGE) programme for the academic year 16/17. B&NES is fulfilling this role as the Accountable Body for the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area and in advance of the establishment of a Mayoral Combined Authority.

This scheme operates for Employers based within the administrative boundaries of the Local Authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City and South Gloucestershire only. The national AGE scheme continues to apply to Employers based within North Somerset Council’s boundary.

For more information view the Step by step AGE process for Providersv9

Here is a specimen AGE grant provider agreement v7

For further information please contact apprenticeships@westofengland.org

Or if you have a specific question related to the West of England Apprenticeship Grant for Employers call 0117 943 4859

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does a Provider apply for an Agreement to offer AGE?

Please read the Step by step AGE process for Providersv9

Q. Does the apprentice have to be paid the National Minimum Wage or the Apprentice National Minimum Wage? Employer Declaration form states ‘at least the National Minimum Wage appropriate for the apprentice’s age’. If you do expect the National Minimum Wage to be paid, how do you want this evidenced? Please clarify and give detail

A. Wages should be paid appropriate to the national minimum wage legislation. This is not required to be checked as it is assumed that legal responsibilities will be adhered to.

Q. Will there be an opportunity to put in a ‘Case for Growth’ if there is the potential to recruit higher numbers with the use of additional AGE? Please confirm.

A. Yes.

Q. In the Employer Declaration Form it states ‘if the apprentice leaves or is dismissed and does not complete 13 weeks ‘in-learning’ and in employment there may be a requirement to repay the grant’. It is not very clear whether the learner MUST complete 13 weeks before they receive the grant or not? During the meeting 19 July it was said it is at the provider’s discretion when they pay the employer – why risk paying the employer early if the learner has to do a minimum of 13 weeks? Please clarify.

A. The provider can pay the employer when they are satisfied that the relevant Eligibility Criteria V2 have been met and that they reasonably believe that the apprenticeship will be completed. If the apprentice leaves before completing 13 weeks, the provider should consider the circumstances and if reasonable and proportionate seek to recover the grant(s) paid. Only in cases of clear abuse would we expect the provider to pursue claw back. We wish to remind you that we are enabling you to pay the employer more swiftly than under the national programme – a key source of complaints from many employers.

Q. Employer briefing says they can receive grants between August 16 and July 17 – is this not misleading considering during the meeting 19 July you said there may or may not be funds available after Dec 2016?

A. This is not intended to be misleading and remains consistent with our expectations at present. The briefing also states that funds after December 2016 are not yet guaranteed but are expected to be available therefore we are taking a planned approach to the whole year now, rather than repeating the provider application process again.

Q. Employer briefing point 9 ‘…two types of grant available: A basic grant of £1500… And Incentive grant of £2500’ to an employer this is rather misleading that they are eligible for £4000 rather than the £1500 + £1000 incentive grant.

A. We will clarify this. Only one grant per apprenticeship start is available: either £1,500 or £2,500.

Q. Could you confirm if the below Frameworks are part of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and would be eligible for the Incentive £1000 grant

  • Vehicle Body and Paint Intermediate and Advanced
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Intermediate and Advanced
  • Bus and Coach Engineering and Maintenance Repair Intermediate and Advanced

A. The Intermediate frameworks noted above are not eligible for an incentive grant, unless the apprentice starting the framework is from a BME background. The Advanced frameworks noted above are not on the defined STEM list but will be eligible for incentive at they are at Level 3.  Please also note that the two grants on offer are separate – there is not an additional incentive payment of £1000.  There is a basic grant of £1500 and an incentive grant of £2500.  An Apprentice will be eligible for one or the other, not both.  An Employer with an apprentice meeting the eligibility for an incentive grant would receive a grant for £2500.

Q. Is there a definitive list of employer types in the Construction sector, the eligibility document doesn’t make this clear?

A. The definitive list has now been added to the Eligibility Criteria V2. A separate Construction SIC codes has also been placed in the above detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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