Suffolk County Council and The Consultancy Home Counties (TCHC) have reached the joint decision to bring to a close the current pilot for the Apprenticeship Suffolk Business Service. ASBS has successfully worked with over 4,000 employers and generated in excess of 500 new Apprenticeship vacancies, but our evaluation has shown that the pilot model as it is currently operating cannot overcome other barriers within the Apprenticeship system, and therefore a different approach is needed going forward. Suffolk County Council, TCHC and their sub-contracting partner, The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, will work closely together over the next three months to ensure businesses currently engaged through this contract are given appropriate support. Suffolk County Council will look to develop a new approach to supporting the apprenticeship agenda in Suffolk going forward.

For further information about Apprenticeships visit

Get up to five £1500 Grants to help develop your businesses

This year you can develop and grow your business with an Apprenticeship AGE Grant which provides up to five £1500 grants to help you cover the associated cost for taking on an apprentice. The grant is in addition to the funding available to cover the training cost of the Apprenticeship.

The most recent fact sheet for employers of 16-24 year old apprentices in England was recently released, which relates to apprenticeship starts from 1 January 2016 to 31 March 2016.

These are the things you need to know about the grant:

  • You can receive up to five Grants in total, each worth £1,500 and exempt from VAT, that do not need to be claimed at the same time
  • Your apprentice must be working to an approved framework and not the new apprenticeship standards 
  • You will receive the Grant from your training provider once your apprentice has completed 13 weeks of “in-learning” with you
  • If your apprentice will be starting between 1 April 2016 and 31 July 2017, a revised set of eligibility and criteria rules will apply, these will be published soon with further information.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have fewer than 50 employees
  • Confirm that, without the Grant, you would not otherwise be able to recruit an apprentice
  • Not have had an apprentice start within 12 months before you applied for the Grant for the first time for another apprentice
  • Commit to a minimum of 12 months employment for your apprentice, or the time it takes for them to complete their training, whichever is greater and pay at least the minimum legal requirement.

Qualifying apprentices must:

  • Be new recruits OR 
  • Be part-time employees (less than 20 hours) taking on a full-time apprentice position (30 hours minimum per week)
  • Be aged between 16 – 24 on their start date
  • Live in England
  • Not be in full-time education

The grant may only last a few months and will be awarded on a first come first served basis so you’ll have to hurry to ensure you don’t miss out!

To apply, simply:

  • Contact the Apprenticeships Suffolk Business Service on 01473 694829 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for impartial advice on AGE 16-24 funding and all other aspects of the Apprenticeship process
  • Sign an Employer Declaration with your training provider before your apprentice (or apprentices) starts.

About the Author

Roxanne Seabourne

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