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Apprenticeship Employer Grant

The Apprentice Employer Grant (AEG) is financial support for employers to recruit new apprentices as well as upskill existing employees who have moved into a new role and where the apprenticeship provides the means of upskilling for the new role. The Scottish Government recognises the severe impact of the economic decline caused by COVID-19 on individuals and the consequences this has had on unemployment and employment opportunities.

The AEG is a one-off payment of £5000 to recruit new apprentices or upskill existing employees who are aged 16-24, those aged up to 29 who are disabled, care experienced or black minority ethnic. There is also a one-off payment of £3500 available for those aged 25 and over. 

The employer must engage with a provider (North Highland College UHI) that is contracted by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to deliver Modern Apprenticeship frameworks. We will administer the grant directly to employers. 

North Highland College UHI will complete the AEG Application Form on behalf of the employer with the required information and signatures for the provider, employer and apprentice. The application will be reviewed within 10 working days by SDS who will send an email to the provider and employer confirming approval or rejection. The provider has 10 working days to process the claim if the application is approved.

SDS will only pay the provider when;

  • The application has been approved
  • The signed provider, employer and apprentice declarations have been received
  • The apprentice has commenced the apprenticeship activity under the employer
  • Full required details have been entered onto FIPS by the provider.

The provider will arrange for the full amount of AEG received from SDS to be paid to the employer within 5 days of receiving the payment.

Eligibility Criteria

The apprentice must not be receiving any other Government funding, such as Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough), Kickstart participants are not eligible for the MA programme.

The apprentice cannot have started their apprenticeship before 01 December 2020.

For new recruits – the apprentice must have been employed within 4 months of start date of apprenticeship.

For existing staff – employees must have moved into a new job within the business within 4 months from the date of registration of the apprenticeship and where the apprenticeship provides the means of upskilling for this new job. (For existing employees that are now upskilling, the employer must submit two job descriptions as proof that the job role has changed and that the chosen MA Framework is specific to the new job role)

The following are essential requirements for receipt of the AEG and employers are required to confirm on the application form that they have complied with the following: 

  • The employer must provide the apprentice with a written contract of employment.
  • Employers who employ on precarious or flexible contracts inappropriately are ineligible – For example zero- hours contracts will not be eligible.

During their apprenticeship, their main employment and normal working premises must be in Scotland. 

The framework must match the job role and be eligible for MA funding (contribution rate). Access to Work funding is also permitted.

Any employer in the public and private sector is eligible if all eligibility criteria is met. Providers will only apply for the AEG grant where they have a genuine, reasonable expectation that the apprentice will complete their apprenticeship with the employer.

If you are eligible and would like more information, contact Project Officer, Lynn Sinclair at Lynn.Sinclair@uhi.ac.uk

For more information please refer to the AEG Rules - https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/media/47355/aeg-rules.pdf

And FAQ’s on Skills Development Scotland website – https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/media/47354/aeg-faqs.pdf