Skills for Care

There are many funded recruitment and development initiatives are available to support adult social care employers recruit and develop new workers.

The pre-employment initiatives support employers to identify potential new talent while providing the participant with an insight into your organisation and the adult social care sector.

PDF - 758 KB

An overview of funded initiatives employers can use to recruit staff and grow their workforce.


Pre-employment initiatives

Traineeships are a skills development programme including a work placement. They allow you to get to know and work with young people prior to recruiting.

Who’s it for?

16-24 year olds (or under 25 for those with an education, health and care plan) who:

  • aren't in employment
  • are motivated to undertake learning to prepare for work or an apprenticeship.


Between six weeks and 12 months. 

Commitment from the employer to provide:

  • safe, meaningful and high-quality work experience
  • constructive feedback and advice to the trainee
  • an interview for an apprenticeship/job in your organisation at the end of the traineeship if available
  • an exit interview at the end of the traineeship with meaningful written feedback if no job is available
  • minimum of 70 hours of work experience - but no more than 240 hours for benefit claimants - over the duration of the traineeship (maximum of one year) and as agreed with the traineeship provider.


  • Work preparation 
  • English, maths and digital skills support
  • Work experience placements lasting between six weeks and five months.

Funding and incentives

All training costs are met by government funding.

Employers may be eligible for an incentive payment of £1,000 per learner, for up to 10 learners, to help with costs such as administration and equipment.

Employer costs

No training cost – only a time commitment. Employers are encouraged to help cover expenses such as travel and meals.


Further information

This programme includes pre-employment training, work experience placement and a guaranteed job interview to support people apply for jobs in a different area of work. They’re designed to help meet employers’ immediate and future recruitment needs.

Who’s it for?

People receiving unemployment benefits.


Up to six weeks


  • Work experience: on-the-job learning
  • Pre-employment training: providing candidates with a learning programme, which could either be based on the Level 1 Award in Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care or the Care Certificate

Commitment from the employer to provide:

  • a guaranteed job interview by participating employers 
  • work experience placement – an opportunity for employers to identify talent and for the individual to develop their knowledge and understanding of the required role. 

Funding and incentives

Training and administration costs funded by the government.

Employer cost

No cost


Further information


Recruitment or development

Apprenticeships are genuine jobs allowing the apprentice to earn while they learn; developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours to be competent in a specific job role. They attract funding for recruiting and developing new and existing staff for specific job roles at different levels.

Who is it for?

Apprentices can be aged 16+; new recruits or existing staff


12 months (minimum)

Employer costs

Wages: £4.15 per hour (minimum)

Training and end-point assessment costs:

  • Non levy payers – 5% of training costs for apprentices starting after 1 April 2019 (10% before)
  • Levy payers – funded from your Apprenticeship Service account, which is topped up by 10% by the government. If you don’t have enough funds, you just pay 5% of the outstanding balance and the government will pay the rest up to the funding bnd maximum.


Off-the-job training: 20% of the apprentice’s normal working hours must be spent off-the-job, to learn the knowledge, skills and behaviours to meet the criteria of the apprenticeship. This can include training delivered at the workplace, day release, block training or special workshops.

On-the-job training: 80% of the apprentice’s normal working hours must be spent learning on-the-job. You’ll need to give your apprentice training and support to help them carry out the job you’ve hired them for.

Funding and incentives

£2,000 for 16-24 year olds or £1,500 for 25+ year olds. This is incentive is for new employees and the apprentices must have started an apprenticeship between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021. Payment is to support an apprentice and can be used for wages, travel and mentoring.

£3,000 for new employees starting an apprenticeship between 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.

No training costs for employers with less than 50 employees and apprentice is aged between 16-18 or 19-24 with an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) or has been in the care of their local authority.

No National Insurance contributions for apprentices under 25 years on earnings below the higher tax rate.

Claim money from the Workforce Development Fund towards associated costs of listed adult social care

Commitment from the employer

  • You must have a genuine job with a contract of employment long enough for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship.
  • Support your apprentice meet their learning goals.
  • Work with your chosen learning provider to ensure learning requirements are met and off-the-job learning time is given

Further information 


Recruiting for values

Recruit the right people, who know what it means to provide high-quality care and support and who are more likely to stay.

Workforce Development Fund

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) is funding to support workers completing a broad range of adult social care qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules. Access the fund.