Step two: Check your funding options

There's support available when you take on an apprentice.

The salary cost

This is the main cost you'll need to consider. 

A newly-recruited apprentice must be in paid employment throughout their apprenticeship, and paid the Apprentice National Minimum Wage.

If they're over 19 and in the first year of a first apprenticeship, this minimum wage applies until they complete this year. Then at the end of the year, you have to pay them at least the full national minimum wage rate for their age group.

Government funding

There is some government funding (and occasional government subsidy) available for apprenticeships in the UK


  • The Creative Employment Programme is a £15m fund to support the creation of traineeships, formal apprenticeship and paid internship opportunities for young unemployed people aged 16-24 wishing to pursue a career in the arts and cultural sector.

  • The government will give full training funding to apprentices aged between 16-18.

  • It then part-funds apprentices who are 19 and over (at which point the employer is also expected to contribute to the training).

  • There is also currently a £1,500 government incentive available for small and medium-sized businesses who want to take on apprentices.


  • The Scottish government will give full training funding to apprentices aged between 16-19.

  • Once the apprentice is over 20, the Scottish government will pay a proportion of the training costs with the employer meeting the rest.


  • The apprentice's training is always fully funded by the government, no matter how old they are.

  • Employers can also claim a wage subsidy for 16-24 year olds from the Young Recruits programme, provided they are not working in the public sector.

Northern Ireland

  • The funding for apprenticeship training is provided by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) through their ‘Apprenticeship NI’ funds, subject to eligibility.

  • The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme (NI CEP) is creating 100 paid apprenticeships and paid internships in arts and cultural organisations, helping to give young people the chance to gain experience in organisations local to where they live. 

Save more money on your apprenticeship

Occasionally, there may be opportunities to secure corporate sponsorship for your apprenticeship - or you may want to include apprenticeships in funding applications for specific projects.

You can also save money by sharing your apprentice with another employer.

We can support you with any or all of these options.

If you work with us directly, we can also advertise on a national scale, sift through applications and assist with interviews, saving you both time and money in the process.