For general guidance on Apprenticeships, your first point of call should be the government website

The following Buttercups blogs help explain the changes to Apprenticeships which came into place from 1st May 2017:

The latest Apprenticeship Funding Rules, including the Funding Rules for Employers, can be found following this link:

Levy-Paying Employers

Buttercups Training continues to have capacity for apprenticeship starts for all age groups (16+). Please contact us to discuss how you can make the best use of your levy pot.

Non-Levy-Paying (SME) Employers

Buttercups Training has funding available for apprentices aged 16 - 18, so applications for 16 - 18 learners can continue to come through to us as normal, provided the apprentice will be 18 or under at the time of their start date onto the apprenticeship programme with us.

For apprentices based at small to medium sized employers we have been given a contract allocation by the government body, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), for use for apprenticeship starts up to April 2019. As apprenticeships have proved very popular, we submitted a request for contract growth in July 2018. This month, we received notification from the ESFA that unfortunately our growth request was not approved and therefore as a result we have reached our current contract allowance for learners aged 19+ and do not have funding available for now for any further learners in this age group to enrol onto the apprenticeship programme with us (non-funded options remain available).

Please rest assured that we are dedicated in our work to promote and encourage apprenticeships as an option for training and we will be applying again for growth if the ESFA open another growth request window. We also expect a full contract review and extension for starts from April 2019. For any growth requests we submit to the ESFA, it can add weight to our application if we can provide the names of employers who are interested in apprenticeship funding. If you are happy for us to include your company name on our next submission to the ESFA, please let us know by sending an email to This will not be used for any marketing purposes, it will solely be your company name listed on the application to show the ESFA that there is great demand for apprenticeship funding from SME employers.

In the meantime we are, as always, able to offer non-funded programmes for the training needs of any learners aged 19+, so please contact us for further information.

If you are interested in recruiting an apprentice, Buttercups can assist you with getting an advert up on the Apprenticeship Vacancies website. If you would like to advertise an apprenticeship or vacancy, please send an email containing details about the apprenticeship / vacancy to Buttercups Training at

If you are learner looking for an Apprenticeship in pharmacy placement, please follow this link  which will enable you to search for Apprenticeship vacancies within your area

You may be eligible to apply for an AGE 16 to 24 Apprenticeship grant to assist in recruiting your first apprentice.

The AGE 16 to 24 year olds is aimed at helping eligible employers to offer young people employment through the Apprenticeship programme, by providing grants to assist employers in recruiting their first apprentice.

The National Apprenticeship Service will provide grants to eligible small medium sized employers recruiting 16 to 24 year olds with a value of £1,500 to encourage new employers to take on new apprentices. The grant is not guaranteed but when recruiting an apprentice Buttercups can assist with getting an application for the grant in place. We do request that you make your interest in the AGE grant clear on any Application Packs you submit to us.

Please follow this link  to the Government website for full details

Please note that the following regions of the country have their own grant systems in place; these differ from the National AGE grant. For information regarding the grants available for businesses in these regions, please see the government website link above which signposts you to the relevant websites.

  • West Yorkshire and York
  • South Yorkshire
  • Greater Manchester