Please note:

Applications are now closed for our Spring funding round. Our Autumn round will open from July 8 to August 12.

To support applicants in preparing their application, we held an online Zoom session earlier this year. If you wish to access a copy of the recording, please email [email protected]


The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) offers apprenticeship funding of up to £12,000 over three years (up to a maximum of £6000 per year) for the training and education of aspiring craftspeople. We provide these opportunities to maintain vital skills in traditional and contemporary crafts and advance the quality of craftsmanship in the United Kingdom.




Apprenticeship funding of up to £12,000 over two to three years, up to a maximum of £6000 per year, to contribute to the apprentice's salary, ensuring they receive at least the minimum wage.


The application process for a QEST Apprenticeship involves a collaborative effort between an organisation or master and the individual apprentice. It is a joint application that demonstrates the commitment of both parties to the development and growth of the apprentice's craft skills.

Apprentices must be:

  • Aged 18 or above at the time of application (with no upper age limit)
  • Living in the UK with the right to reside permanently
  • Able to demonstrate a certain level of skill and potential for excellence (meaning that they possess some experience and are not completely new to the field)
  • Committed to their craft, with a willingness to remain with the organisation they are apprenticed to in the long term and/or an aspiration to establish their own business in the future
  • Employed or working closely with the master or company for a minimum of 6 months (preferably 1 year) before applying

Employers must be:

  • A micro-business or sole trader based in the UK. These businesses must meet the eligibility criteria outlined by Companies House, which include a turnover of less than £632,000, a balance sheet value of £316,000 or less, and fewer than 10 employees
  • Able to demonstrate a sound and viable business, along with genuine financial need, illustrating their requirement for QEST's support to hire an apprentice
  • Unable to access funds from any other apprenticeship schemes, including government programs


Applications are open twice a year:

Spring: Applications open from January to February with awards made in May.

Autumn: Applications open from July to August with awards made in November.

Please note, our funding is competitive, and we receive many more applications than we can support. Strong apprenticeship applications are from makers who can demonstrate:

  • A strong working relationship between the apprentice and the employer/master
  • An apprentice's potential for excellence and long-term commitment to their chosen craft
  • A detailed and well-thought-out training plan that covers the entirety of the apprenticeship
  • A sound, viable business with a genuine financial need for QEST funding

Before applying, read the complete application guidance here: QEST Apprenticeship Application Guidance 2024.

We offer an optional enquiry call to provide early-stage advice and guidance to individuals who consider themselves under-represented in the arts, crafts, or education sectors. These calls aim to support individuals to better understand the eligibility criteria and the assessment process. If you have any questions, please reach out to the QEST team on 020 7798 1535 or via email: [email protected]

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