Unlocking Apprenticeship Funding: A Guide for Small Businesses in England


Small businesses in England looking to train apprentices have a valuable resource available to them in the form of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The ESFA is a government agency that provides funding and support to employers who want to train apprentices in their industry.

If you’re a small business owner in England, here’s what you need to know about accessing funding for apprenticeship training through the ESFA.

Step 1: Choose the Apprenticeship Programme

The first step to accessing ESFA funding is to choose the apprenticeship program that you want to offer. The ESFA funds apprenticeship training in a wide variety of industries, including construction, engineering, healthcare, hospitality, and many more. You can choose an apprenticeship program that aligns with the skills and expertise that you need for your business.

Step 2: Find a Training Provider

Once you’ve selected an apprenticeship program, you’ll need to find a training provider who can deliver the training to your apprentice. There are many training providers available in England, so it’s important to do your research and choose one that offers high-quality training.

The ESFA has a list of approved training providers that you can use as a starting point. You can also ask other businesses in your industry for recommendations.

Step 3: Register with the Apprenticeship Service

To access ESFA funding for apprenticeship training, you’ll need to register with the Apprenticeship Service. The Apprenticeship Service is an online portal that allows you to manage your apprenticeship training, including funding, contracts, and progress tracking.

To register with the Apprenticeship Service, you’ll need to create an account and provide some basic information about your business. Once you’re registered, you can apply for ESFA funding and manage your apprenticeship training through the portal.

Step 4: Apply for ESFA Funding

Once you’ve registered with the Apprenticeship Service, you can apply for ESFA funding for your apprenticeship training. The amount of funding you can receive depends on the apprenticeship program you’ve chosen and the age of your apprentice.

If your apprentice is under 19 years old, you’ll receive 100% of the training costs from the ESFA. If your apprentice is 19 or older, you’ll receive a percentage of the training costs depending on the apprenticeship program you’ve chosen.

Step 5: Manage Your Apprenticeship Training

Once your ESFA funding is approved, you can start your apprenticeship training. You’ll need to work closely with your training provider to ensure that your apprentice is receiving the training they need to succeed in their role.

You can manage your apprenticeship training through the Apprenticeship Service portal. This includes tracking your apprentice’s progress, reviewing their performance, and making any necessary changes to the training program.


Accessing ESFA funding for apprenticeship training is a valuable resource for small businesses in England. By following the steps outlined above, you can choose an apprenticeship program, find a training provider, register with the Apprenticeship Service, apply for funding, and manage your apprenticeship training. With ESFA funding, you can help your apprentice develop the skills and expertise they need to succeed in their role, while also providing valuable training for your business.



If you need further support, Keyturn are here to help. Please contact us on enq@keyturn.co.uk or call us on 01788 815500.