Apprentice Employer Grant & Why Apprenticeships are Good for Business

As many business owners are increasingly aware, growing internal talent can be one of the most personally rewarding and commercially sound elements of workforce planning.  With this in mind, Purpose HR wanted to shine a spotlight on the new £15 million Skills Development Scotland Apprenticeship Employer Grant (AEG) which is open for applications.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant economic disruption and consequently a challenging environment for young people entering the job market.  The aim of the AEG initiative is to support businesses to take on apprentices in order to develop their own internal talent as well as support young people into work.

Creating job opportunities for young people is a powerful opportunity for businesses who can offer development in the long terms skills that are required, both within their own organisation and the wider market.  By supporting young talent, companies can develop a deep sense of employee engagement through an apprenticeship programme, as well as enabling a young person to develop within the workplace immersed within a positive business culture.  A key advantage of working with apprentices is the training and development which is offered as part of the scheme; in many cases this leads to formal qualifications and is funded.  This provides an excellent chance for businesses to develop fresh talent and create a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Furthermore, apprenticeships are a great way to build a diverse talent pipeline, developing staff and bringing new skills to your organisation. They can also help fill skills gaps by developing the specialist skills you need.

The AEG scheme can be used to either hire new apprentices into roles or as a means to upskill existing employees by placing them on apprenticeship programmes.  The training and development provided through the programme can be used to help a young person within a business either advance within their current employment, or train to enable a transfer to another part of the company which may be growing.  Through active workforce planning, businesses can utilise the scheme to advance their internal staff as well as create new roles for young people.

Apprenticeship Employer Grant

  • £5,000 for employers taking on or upskilling a 16 to 24-year old apprentice, and for those aged up to 29 years who have a disability, are care experienced or are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background.
  • £3,500 for employers taking on or upskilling an apprentice aged 25 plus.
  • The chance for young people to train and get qualifications.
  • Funding is available for starts until 25th March 2021 or until funding levels are exceeded, whichever comes first.
  • Applications for funding can only be made once an apprentice has been formally employed.
  • Funding can be accessed for up to 10 new starts per employer.

In addition to the above, there are apprentice bodies who actively support companies in finding suitable apprentices in a range of areas from Life Science and Related Science Industries to IT & Software Development.  These organisations are able to advertise the roles on a company’s behalf and complete the initial screening process of candidates. This reduces the time and expense for employers.

As many young people leave school, college and university, the job market looks uncertain. The Apprenticeship Employer Grant scheme offers an excellent opportunity for employers to support young people as well as develop their own internal skills base. 

Purpose HR can provide more information on how to recruit an apprentice and how to enrol any current employees who are suitable onto an apprenticeship scheme. For support with this in relation to your business, please contact the Purpose HR team by emailing us at