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Apprenticeship Funding for SMEs

The Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has announced that funding for up to 5000 apprenticeship starts per month for SMEs will be made available from January 2020. This funding will cover all apprenticeships across the whole of England, and will likely be allocated on a first come first served basis.

We want pharmacy to benefit from this funding as much as possible, and for our SME customers to be able to make the most of the apprenticeship programme after a protracted break from apprenticeship availability.  The early bird will catch the worm!

What to do if you want to benefit from government funded apprenticeships

This apprenticeship funding will only be available via the ESFA's online apprenticeship service, so to be ready to access it, you will need to set up an account and reserve funding - we will provide guidance on how to do this once you have put your learner(s) forward. If you are interested in accessing apprenticeship funding, please don't hesitate to contact us.

We will need to have funding paperwork filled in and ready to go, so employers who wish to benefit from apprenticeship funding should let us know the details of the learners they'd like to put forward for either the level 2 Pharmacy Services Assistant (PSA) or level 3 Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) (PT(I)) standard (available for February starts for SMEs), so that we can get the enrolment process started.  Employers are able to reserve funding, so it’s sensible to be set up on the apprenticeship service, ready to be able to reserve planned starts in January, February and March.

The apprenticeships will be 95% government funded, with the remaining 5% payable by the employer (which will be invoiced directly) - up to £250 + VAT for the PSA and £400 + VAT for the PT(I).

For employers with fewer than 50 employees, where the apprentice is aged 16 - 18 on the day of enrolment, or 19 - 24 and a local authority care leaver or with an EHC plan (more detailed eligibility criteria apply which will be checked prior to enrolment), full costs will be met via government funding (subject to final eligibility checks).


Sadly, the apprenticeship is only available in England.  Usual eligibility criteria apply.  The ESFA reserves the right to withdraw funding at any time, and if this occurs, Buttercups Training may need to cancel requested apprenticeship starts.  However, if this happens, we will credit any fees already paid directly by the employer and look for the earliest funding availability to try again.

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