Apprenticeship Funding: What it’s going to cost me

Apprenticeship Funding – How we can help.

This is one of the first questions any employer new to apprenticeships understandably asks us. There are two forms of costs to an employer: the salary costs and the training costs.  However, many of the training costs are actually met by various forms of public funding.

Click HERE to check if you’re eligible for additional funding for your apprentices

Salary Costs:

You can pay an apprentice any hourly rate you choose as long as it is not below the national minimum apprentice wage. This rate only applies for the first 12 months of the apprenticeship. After 12 months the apprentice MUST go onto the national minimum wage for their age.

Apprenticeships offered at different wage salaries attract different types of candidates. This isn’t hard and fast as there always exceptions but will give you some idea of what to expect. Younger candidates will of course be interested in the higher hourly rates, however in our experience older more experienced candidates are very rarely interested in apprenticeships below the minimum wage.

Training Costs = Funding for Apprenticeship Training

One of the most common mistakes employers new to the programme make is expecting older, more experienced people to be attracted to their apprenticeship at the national minimum apprenticeship wage. Most younger apprentices will inevitably need more support that is more regularly reinforced by their employer. They won’t have yet developed the confidence to act on their own initiative. They will of course, over time, start to add value to your business but if you need this value added quickly then look at the rate you can afford to pay.

If your business has an annual wage bill of less than £3 million / year then the government will fund 95% of the training costs of each apprentice. The employer only has to pay the other 5% as a co-investment commitment. If your company is an apprentice levy payer, we’ve produced a guide which you can access HERE about what that means for you. 

However, if you’re based in the West Midlands then even that co-investment charge can be covered by a new funding scheme that Creative Alliance is now part of.

Each apprenticeship is assigned to one of 20 funding bands that range from £3k to £27k depending on the level, length and complexity of the apprenticeship. For the apprenticeships Creative Alliance provides, the 5% co-investment charge ranges between £200 and £600.

The co-investment charge could now be paid for the West Midlands Combined Authority Levy Transfer scheme. To see if you’re eligible, click HERE.


The WMCA Levy Transfer Scheme Funds Creative, Digital & Marketing Apprenticeships in the West Midlands.

What this means for you is:

  • You can recruit a creative, digital or marketing apprentice with us and the compulsory employer co-investment charge will be paid for from the WMCA Apprentice Levy Transfer Fund. This represents up to a £600 saving to you.
  • Creative and digital industries are a priority growth sector for the WMCA. Apprenticeships such as Creative Venue Technician, Digital / Junior Content Producer, Digital Marketer, Events Assistant and Software Developer are ALL ELIGIBLE for support through the apprentice levy transfer scheme.
  • You will need to set up an account on the Digital Apprenticeship Service to access the funds. The good news is that we can help you with that. We work with other apprenticeship levy payers such as Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mission Marketing and the RSC so we understand how the system works and do our best to help hide the wiring of complex skills funding.

There are some excellent new apprenticeships now on the market. The Junior Content Producer is very flexible. Copy Writing, Graphic Design, Film Production, Photography & Web Development roles can all go through this apprenticeship standard as well as a Digital Producer role creating all types of digital content for your communications and marketing.

To see if you’re eligible, click HERE.

If you’re a small employer with less than 50 employees and you take on a 16-18 year old apprentice then you’ll also receive an additional £1000 incentive payment to pay for the extra support a younger apprentice needs.

Certain local authorities also run their own incentive scheme for businesses in their area. We can either find out for you if there is one in your area or you can contact the Employment Access Team in your Local Authority.

To request an employer pack and join our mailing list follow the link: HERE