Thinking about taking on an apprentice, and should I register with CITB?

What is an apprentice?

Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job.

Apprentices can be new or current employees.

You can get government funding to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice if you’re in England.  You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage.

Your apprentice must:

  • work with experienced staff
  • learn job-specific skills
  • get time for training or study during their working week (at least 20% of their normal working hours)

Can I get help with the costs?

You can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training.

The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not. You pay the levy if you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year.

If you do not need to pay the levy

You pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. You need to:

  • agree a payment schedule with the training organisation
  • pay them directly for the training

The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum. They’ll pay it directly to the training organisation.

You could be eligible for extra funding depending on both your and your apprentice’s circumstances.

If you pay the levy

You’ll receive funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices. The government will add 10%.

How you get your funds and pay for training depends on whether you’re in:

  • New from August 2020

    If you have used the national apprenticeship service to recruit your apprentice, and they have a start date on or after 01/08/2020 then you should be eligible for a government incentive payment.

    £2000 for apps aged 16-24

    £1500 for apps aged 25 or over

    The payment is made in 2 halves, the first being 90 days after the apprenticeship start date, and the second 365 days after the apprenticeship start date.

    You can start your claim via the apprenticeship service from 1st September 2020.

    So what’s the advantage of registering with CITB?

    CITB will pay Levy registered employers a number of grants for taking on an apprentice.

    Grant rates depend on the apprenticeship type and the duration of the course.

    Rates are fixed for the duration of the apprenticeship as given in the Grants Scheme year the apprenticeship starts, even if they change in later Grants Scheme years, or if the apprentice changes employer.

    Programmes under the new apprenticeship standards may vary in length, so attendance grants are prorated based on their duration.

    From 1 April 2020 new apprentices at all levels will be entitled to the grant rates detailed below:

You can apply for a £3,500 achievement grant on successful completion of the qualification

See Apprenticeships for England and Wales for the apprenticeships this grant will support.

See Apprenticeships for Scotland for the apprenticeships this grant will support.

CITB will continue to make payments at the appropriate rate for the remainder of the programme for apprentices who started their training and registered for grant support before the start of the 2019/2020 Grants Scheme year (1 April 2019).

Employers who qualified for supplementary grant prior to April 2018, this will be added to the attendance payments only, for apprentices who started before 1 April 2018.

You can apply for a £3,500 achievement grant on successful completion of the qualification.

Approved apprenticeship providers

You must use an approved apprenticeship provider that:

  • is on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers in England
  • has a direct contract with SDS and current approval with an appropriate awarding body, such as the SQA in Scotland
  • has a direct contract with the Welsh Government in Wales.

Payment of grants

You will be eligible for attendance grants once your apprentice has completed 13 weeks of continuous contracted employment.

For information on how we pay Apprenticeship grants, please refer toHow to apply to claim a grant above.

Change of employers

If an apprentice changes employer during their apprenticeship, attendance and achievement grants will be paid pro-rata according to the proportion of the total training package completed with each employer.

Other grants

  • While you receive an apprenticeship grant you can’t apply for any other grants for the same apprentice, except for new apprentice support grants, short course achievements and plant qualifications which are necessary, appropriate and not included within the apprenticeship.
  • You must meet the cost of other additional training.

It really is a no brainer!

If you are in the construction industry it makes perfect sense to register with CITB and claim these grants to help with the costs of training your apprentice.

Once registered with CITB you can also access the Skills and Training Fund which pays out 5k per year to pay for training for all your team.  You could build a structured training programme for your business and get some, or all of it funded by CITB.

If you want more information email me (Tracey) on and I will chat to you about possible funding and courses.

If you find this article was of help or it could help other trades then please feel free to share across your Network.


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