National Apprenticeship Service updates: Awards and Incentives

National Apprenticeship Service updates: Awards and Incentives


Employer incentives for hiring new apprentices applications go live


From 1 September, employers large and small can apply for large cash incentives designed to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.  


As part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, employers are being offered £2,000 for each new apprentice aged under 25 they hire, and £1,500 for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, up to the 31st January 2021. This includes taking on an apprentice who has been made redundant.


The new cash incentives for employers are in addition to the existing £1,000 payment for new 16-18 year-old apprentices, and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.


The incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice is different to the apprenticeship levy and can be used on anything to support organisational costs, for example facilities, uniforms, apprentice’s travel or their salary.


Any organisation can apply for the payment, no matter the size or the sector. Applications must be made through the Apprenticeship Service, and employers not currently registered will be able to set up a new account.



National Apprenticeship Awards 2020 – open for entries


Calling out to all apprentice employers, inspirational apprentices, rising stars and individuals who champion apprenticeships - as the National Apprenticeship Awards 2020 are now open for entries!


Back for the17th year, the National Apprenticeship Awards are a fantastic opportunity to highlight business and individual success in apprenticeships and are particularly poignant this year, given the challenges many employers and apprentices have faced during the pandemic.


Entries to the awards are open until 25 September 2020, and this year winners will be recognised at online broadcast ceremonies.


Regional ceremonies will take place between 2 and 6 November, with the national ceremony taking place on Wednesday 25 November.


There are nine categories to recognise exceptional employers, apprentices and apprenticeship champions: 

Employer of the Year categories 
SME Employer of the Year (for organisations with 1 to 249 employees)
Large Employer of the Year (for organisations with 250 to 4,999 employees)
Macro Employer of the Year (for organisations with 5,000+ employees)
Recruitment Excellence (the winner is selected from Employer of the Year award entries, and will be awarded to an organisation that has recruited a diverse and high quality apprenticeship workforce).

Apprentice of the Year and Apprenticeship Champion categories 
Intermediate Apprentice of the Year (level 2)    
Advanced Apprentice of the Year (level 3)
Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year (level 4 or higher)
Rising Star of the Year* (nominated by their employer, this award recognises apprentices that have made impressive progress in their career to date, and have the potential to go even further)
Apprenticeship Champion of the Year (recognises individuals who go ‘above and beyond’ to champion apprenticeships. The nomination is made by a colleague or contact who recognises an individual’s ‘champion’ credentials).

* The Rising Star category will not include a public vote this year due to the condensed format of the awards


To enter the National Apprenticeship Awards 2020, or to sign up to the mailing list, please visit