"Devo Manc" gives grant boost to firms recruiting apprentices

One of the first changes resulting from Greater Manchester's devolution agreement with the Government is a revamp of the apprenticeship grant system - the snappily titled "AGE” grant. This is good news for GM businesses that are considering taking on an apprentice for the first time as they will now be eligible for additional funding of up to £3,500 per apprentice compared to £1,500 elsewhere.

 Damar’s Managing Director, Jonathan Bourne commented:

“By raising the maximum employer size for the AGE grant from 50 to 250 employees the vast majority of employers in Greater Manchester are now in scope. We already work with dozens of law firms and professional service providers who like to recruit high calibre apprentices onto advanced and higher apprenticeships. Employers such as these will now receive at least £2,500 per apprentice (compared with £1,500 outside GM). This money can be used for anything but many firms will  use it to offset an element of wage costs or any additional training costs that are not covered by Government apprenticeship funding.

From 1st April 2015 the arrangements for Greater Manchester will be as follows:

  • Employer size. Employers with up to 250 employees are eligible (for employers outside GM, the limit is 50 employees).
  • Employers need to be new to apprenticeships. So, they can't have had any apprentice enrolments in the previous 12 months (this is the same as the national position).
  • Employers will be able to receive grants for up to three new apprentice recruits in GM.
  • Grants are paid once the apprentice has been on programme for 13 weeks. In practice, the payment has tended to come through a month or so later than this for the current AGE grant.
  • The basic grant is £1,500 per apprentice. But, up to two additional grants per head are available, taking the maximum per apprentice to £3,500:
    • Apprentices who start on an advanced or higher apprenticeship will generate a further £1,000.
    • Apprentices who have successfully progressed from a traineeship (they have to start the apprenticeship within 4 weeks of finishing the traineeship) will generate a further £1,000.
  • Apprentices need to be aged 16-24 on enrolment.

Damar is working with lots of ambitious young people in GM who are looking to kick-start their careers with an apprenticeship. If you would like to find out more please give Damar’s business development team a call on 0161 480 8171.

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