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.

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. 

Employer costs

Employers are encouraged to help cover expenses such as travel and meals.

Employer commitments:

  • 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 with meaningful written feedback if no job is available
  • minimum of 70 hours of work experience (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.


Further information

  • .


Sector-based work academy programme

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

Employer commitments:

  • 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.


Further information

  • Access more information about 



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: £5.28 per hour (minimum) until 31 March 2024, £6.40 per hour (minimum) from 1 April 2024

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 band 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.


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.

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 to 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 

  • See our information about  or see the for further information.