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Financial Support for Apprenticeships


Calling all employers… are you in need of high quality workforce skills development solutions?

Now is the time to embed apprenticeships as part of our economic recovery and to help business rebuild and reshape the workforce of the future.

Apprentices benefit both the individual apprentice and their employer. There is clear evidence that apprenticeships promote loyalty, with over 90% of apprentices retained with their employer after completing their professional & technical training course. Thereby providing a significant benefit for employers, in particular where apprentices add significant value to the business, providing fresh thinking and new skills for the business.

Recently, the Department for Economy announced their additional funding support for employers, in launching an Apprenticeship Recovery Package for Northern Ireland that will provide financial support to local businesses to help the apprenticeship system respond to the impact of the COVID–19 crisis, providing a significant boost to the provision of apprenticeships in Northern Ireland.

In addition to these financial incentives, there are many other reasons why hiring apprentices makes good business sense at this time. Hiring an apprentice is a cost-effective way to support the development of new skills and talent for employers and a significant 90% of employers have reported improved productivity after introducing an apprenticeship programme.

For those employers seeking to invest in skills development, and to drive improvement in productivity and staff retention, apprenticeships have a lot to offer and provide a comprehensive solution for workforce development.

Belfast Met’s Centre for Skills and Apprenticeships provides a tailored responsive approach for employers, identifying and responding to individual employer needs. We are seeking employer partners across a range of industries to support economic recovery and development, and to ensure we maintain and grow the supply of apprenticeship opportunities in Northern Ireland.

We are here to help and to find out more please contact a member of our team apprenticeships[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk or employerengagement[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk


DfE Financial Support for Employers

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has announced an Apprenticeship Recovery Package for Northern Ireland that will provide additional financial support for employers to bolster the apprenticeship system in response to the impact of the COVID–19 crisis.

The Apprenticeship Recovery Package amounts to a total of £17.2million in available funding support, which includes immediate support interventions which are designed to mitigate potential long term economic impact. These financial incentives will support both the retention of existing apprentices, as well the recruitment of new apprentices, ensuring that employers continue to have access to the skills pipeline people which supports the needs of both employers and our economy whilst also providing valuable employment for our young people.


Apprenticeship Return, Retrain and Results


As an employer, you may have had to furlough an apprentice under the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. To help you return your apprentice(s) from furlough, and retain them until 31st March 2022 and on to successful completion of their apprenticeship, DfE will provide incentive payments to employers to support the return, retention and result for apprentices.
The total amount payable under the scheme will be a maximum of £3,700 per apprentice, distribution as follows:

  • Return – £500 per returned furloughed apprentice payable for the first full month of paid apprenticeship from 1 November 2020
  • Retain – maximum of £2,000 available: £500 per month for up to 4 months of paid apprenticeship between 1 December 2020 and 31 March 2022
  • Result – £1,200 for successful full framework achievement of a returned furloughed apprentice

This scheme is open to employers participating on the DfE–funded ApprenticeshipsNI or Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes, who return their furloughed apprentices to work since April 2020.

This scheme is open to employers participating on the DfE–funded ApprenticeshipsNI or Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes, who return their furloughed apprentices to work since April 2020.

Find out more about the Apprenticeship Return, Retain & Result Scheme, full eligibility terms and how to apply.

Recruitment of New Apprenticeships


This incentive is available to all employers to support the recruitment of new apprentices. As an employer, you will be eligible for up to £3,000 for each new apprenticeship opportunity created from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022. This bonus will apply to all new apprenticeship opportunities and includes apprentices who have been made redundant:


  • Payment 1 – £2,000 after 90 days retention
  • Payment 2 – £1,000 after 200 days retention from first employment

This scheme is open to employers who take on an apprentice participating on the DfE–funded ApprenticeshipsNI or Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes. 

Find out more about the Recruitment of New Apprenticeships scheme, full eligibility terms and how to apply