Apprenticeship Growth Service

Who's the service for?

Our Apprenticeship Growth Service (AGS) is part of the Workforce Development (WFD) team and offers impartial advice to businesses looking to grow through recruitment, training and upskilling, specifically via the new apprenticeship offer.

About the service

Apprenticeships have evolved, with the way in which they’re funded and delivered changing to reflect the needs and demands of modern business.

They’re already seen as a tried and tested way of introducing new, talented individuals into a company, but the government is now committed to ensuring that SMEs benefit alongside the larger corporates who have traditionally used this route to bolster recruitment. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that around a quarter of SMEs already employ an apprentice, with this expected to soar when rules come into force.

As of 2017, the Government is introducing the new Apprenticeship Levy. This will require businesses with a wage bill of over £3m to pay 0.5% of their payroll as a levy to train and upskill their own staff and fund new apprentices.

Any unused money is transferred into a central pot, which can be accessed by SMEs to fund apprentices and boost the skills of the region

It will mean that businesses with less than 50 employees, who take on an apprentice who is under 19 years old, will be able to claim 100% funding. SMEs with over 50 staff will need to meet 10% of the costs, while all SMEs can claim a £1,000 support payment.

In addition to the financial changes, there are two other significant alterations to the system. Apprentices can now be any age and still be considered for funding, and there are no restrictions on their previous level of education, meaning that for the first time graduates can also become apprentices.

AGS are here to help you to make the best use of the levy to develop your staff and grow your business.

Taking on and training an apprentice can bring huge benefits, enabling you to shape your workforce and mould it to the company’s culture and values. Staff start to grow and develop alongside the business too, and that can help instil a great feeling of loyalty.

And as well as filling vacancies you can also tap into apprentice training and funding to upskill your existing staff.

We can advise you on what apprenticeship training is needed, source the best training provider for you and then manage the whole process, which overcomes traditional barriers to taking on an apprentice, such as time and administration costs.

Apprenticeships are no longer tied to specific sectors either – they’re much more flexible – and can be adapted to match your business needs, whether you need an engineer or an accountant, a IT Technician or a chef.

With higher education costs spiralling, many of our most talented young people are now looking to earn and learn, with new Degree Apprenticeships becoming an increasingly attractive proposition.

As part of the Hub, you can benefit from broader business support services, too.

How to access the service

To find out more, please contact:


Tel: 0161 359 3050

Business Growth Hub

Churchgate House
56 Oxford Street
M1 6EU

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