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HSE incentive payments for employers who hire a new apprentice

Forklift apprentice training

This scheme has recently come to my attention. I emailed HSE to ask if the scheme applied to funds used for training apprentices to operate a forklift truck.

I have now received a reply from Carole at HSE Apprentice Service Support Scheme and below is part of what she said.

"My name is Carole at the Apprenticeship Service Support Team. I understand from your email that you would like to know if the new scheme can be used to by employers to help finance the training of apprentices to operate a forklift truck. 

If you are referring to the Employer Incentive payments recently introduced by the Government, they can be used to finance anything, so they can be used to finance forklift truck training which may be in addition to their apprenticeship training. However, only apprentices who are undertaking a government approved apprenticeship standard are eligible for the payment.

The employer incentive payment can only be claimed through the apprenticeship service, that is, you must have an apprenticeship service account, have made funding reservations for the apprenticeship(s) and have a 'live' record for each apprentice in your apprenticeship service account. 

The incentive scheme has recently been extended so that employers who take on apprentices who are new employees with a start date between 1st April 2021 and 30th September 2021 are eligible for the incentive payment; they must not have had a contract of employment with you in the previous 6 months up to the 1st April 2021.

The employer Incentive is £3000 and is payable in 2 instalments - the first after the apprentice has been on programme for 90 days and the second after the apprentice has been on programme for 365 days. It will be paid into the employer's bank account. 

However it must be noted that the Department of Education takes 80 days to check and verify an employer's bank details and, as such, we would advise employers to claim the payment as soon as the apprentice records are live in the apprenticeship service account.

I have provided a few links below for further explanation.

Changes to the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice – Apprenticeship Service Support (education.gov.uk)

Incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice - check who is eligible – Apprenticeship Service Support (education.gov.uk)

Incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice - view your application – Apprenticeship Service Support (education.gov.uk)

I have also included a link to the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) You Tube channel which has videos about various aspects of the apprenticeship service:"

Quote ends.


How to reserve funding

As a smaller employer, who does not pay the apprenticeship levy, you must reserve apprenticeship funding for training and assessment in the finance section of your apprenticeship service account. 

You can also give your training provider permission to reserve funding on your behalf.

What you’ll need

You will need to know: 

  • Which apprenticeship standard the apprentice will be doing 
  • What month the apprenticeship training will start

Before the apprentice starts their training, you can change the apprenticeship start date and standard. 

When you can use reserved funds

From 1 April 2021, you can reserve funds up to 6 months in advance of the expected apprenticeship start date.    

The reserved funds are available to use from the selected month of the apprenticeship start date and the following 2 months. The reservation will expire at the end of the 3rd month if you do not use it.

 Reserved funds cannot be used for apprenticeships that started before the reservation was made. 

Example 

If you access your account in April 2021, you can reserve funding for an apprenticeship that has an expected start date between April 2021 and September 2021.

You choose July 2021 as the apprenticeship start date.  This funding reservation can then be used for an apprenticeship that starts in July, August or September.  You must use this reservation and create a commitment on the service before the end of September 2021.  If you do not do this your reservation will expire.

As you have selected July 2021 as the start date in the apprenticeship service, you cannot use this reservation for an apprenticeship that starts before this. 

Funding status 

There are 3 funding statuses:

  • active - you’ve reserved funds, but have not added or saved the apprentice’s details (if you can see ‘add apprentice details’ in your account, then the reservation is ‘active’) 
  • used – you’ve reserved funds and added the apprentice’s details 
  • expired – you did not add or save the apprentice’s details to a reservation within the 3 months that the reservation covers
You can find out more details at this website