The Greater Manchester ‘SME Apprentice Support Package Grant

The  Greater Manchester ‘SME Apprentice Support Package’ Grant for Employers (GM SME): Oldham

The Greater Manchester ‘SME Apprentice Support Package’ Grant for Employers (‘GM SME’). Here are the grant’s eligibility criteria and other key information.

Key information about the grant – The GM SME grant has been introduced to provide a financial incentive to employers who have not hosted an apprentice since 1st April 2017 (if at all). The grant:

  • Is valued at £3000 per employer. Successful applicants are eligible for one GM SME grant only.
  • Will only be available to non-Apprenticeship levy paying organisations employing apprentices on approved apprenticeship standards.
  • The employer’s and apprentice’s workplace must be based in Oldham.
  • Will only be granted where at least one new apprenticeship opportunity has been created (the grant is for new roles only, not to convert existing jobs into an apprenticeship).
  • Will not be awarded to employers who have already identified a training provider and/or an apprentice. Successful applicants will be encouraged to access the SEDA project, for workforce planning support and advice (including finding the right course and training provider).
  • Oldham Council wants to work with employers who are open to providing opportunities to unemployed and underemployed residents.
  • All grant applications must be approved and committed prior to 29th March 2020. No new applications will be processed beyond 29th March 2020.
  • No aspect of the activity funded by GMCA may be party-political in intention, use, or presentation or used to support or promote religious activity.


Funding – The grant will become payable at phased intervals, but as an employer you will be expected to employ the apprentice for at least the time it takes to complete their apprenticeship programme.

£1,000 will become payable when your apprentice has completed 8 weeks in post and a further £2,000 will be payable after the apprentice completes 26 weeks. Note: No pro-rata payments will be made, within the relevant phased interval, should the apprenticeship end. The apprenticeship provider will provide verification in relation to releasing the funding.

*Options for payment can be negotiated.

Eligibility criteria – Your organisation will have to meet the minimum eligibility criteria:

  • The organisation will employ the apprentice for at least the time it takes to complete their apprenticeship programme.
  • The employer will pay the apprentice at least the National Minimum Wage, appropriate for the apprentice’s age, including time for off the job training.
  • A job progression or sustainability plan must be in place for each apprentice.
  • The employer has not previously employed an apprentice or where the employer has previously employed an apprentice, it has been more than 2 years since their last apprentice completed their programme.
  • The apprentice will be employed in a GM workplace.
  • The employer is a non-levy paying organisation in the United Kingdom, as recorded by the Employer Data Service (EDS).
  • The employer will complete a State Aid declaration form, confirming that they are aware of and do not breach any State Aid rules Note: This must be returned as part of the grant application.


Grants are subject to further eligibility checks and funding availability and the completion of the grant’s application process is not a guarantee of grant funding.

Contact Darren Flannery or Louise Slater for more information

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