The National Apprenticeships Initiative is overseen by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and aims to deliver work based training programmes designed around the needs of employers which lead to nationally recognised qualifications.

Apprenticeships are designed by the Skills Sector Councils and NAS helps fund the training.  Most training is “on the job” in the workplace with the rest provided by a local college or specialist training provider.

The training costs association with apprenticeships are funded wholly or in part by NAS; this is a government subsidy and is normally paid directly to the college or training provider.

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Apprenticeship Grant to Employer (AGE)

The AGE 16 to 24 grant for employers aims to support businesses to recruit individuals aged 16 to 24 into employment though the apprenticeship programme.

The Skills Funding Agency will provide AGE 16 to 24 to eligible employers, in respect of qualifying apprentices, with an individual value of £1,500.

AGE 16 to 24 is for employers with less than 50 employees, who are new to apprenticeships or haven’t enrolled a new recruit or existing employee onto an Apprenticeship programme in the previous 12 months. Employers can be paid up to 5 grants in total.

The grant will be available, subject to availability, up until December 2016.

Wyre Forest Apprenticeship Scheme

Wyre Forest District Council provides a grant scheme to support local business to take on apprentices.  The scheme, delivered in partnership with Kidderminster College, helps Wyre Forest businesses to employ local residents.  The Council has allocated £50,000 to the scheme and businesses are able to apply for up to £7500 to help fund an apprentice over 2 years.

The scheme is available for the following types of apprenticeship, with specific encouragement for levels 3 and above:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Management (Team Leading)
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Management
  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business and Administration
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Administration
  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Accounting
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Accounting
  • Higher Apprenticeship in Accounting
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Social Media
  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture

The grant is available to small and medium sized enterprises located within the Wyre Forest District with less than 250 employees and there will be a limit of 2 apprenticeships per business.  The grant will only be available to new employees.  The apprentices themselves must also be living within the District to be eligible.

Financial support is based on a one or two year apprenticeships with 50% of the wages in the year 1 being met (up to £5,000 max) and 25% of the wages in year 2 (up to £2,500 max).

If you are interested in recruiting an apprentice and would like more information, please contact Beth Newton, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator at Kidderminster College on 01562 826515 or