Article summary: The Government Apprenticeship Initiative, which ended on 30 September, has now been extended until the end of January in a bid to encourage more employers to take on and train new staff.
Doing so could help employers plug skill gaps, enhance their business and recover from the effects of the pandemic.
The scheme, which was first unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in August 2020 and then extended in the spring, means that employers will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation up until 31 January 2022. This payment will be in addition to the £1,000 payment provided for new apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, meaning that some employers could receive £4,000 in total per apprentice.
The bonus can be spent on anything to support your organisation’s costs such as uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary and it does not need to be paid back. Apprentices must be signed up and to have commenced employment by 31 January 2022 to be eligible. You will need to create an account to manage your apprenticeship(s) and claim your incentive.
Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference on 4 October, Sunak said he’s sticking to his promise to “do whatever it takes” to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. He said: “The job is not done yet and I want to make sure our economy is fit for the future and that means providing the support and skills people need to get into work and get on in life.”
The Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment, has also been extended. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding until 17 December 2021 and spread the job start dates up until 31 March 2022.
Employers will receive funding for 6 months once the young person has started their job and the funding will cover:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- associated employer National Insurance contributions
- minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions
Why employ an apprentice?
- You’ll receive a bonus of up to £4,000!
- Plug skills gaps created by COVID
If the pandemic has impacted your business, you may have had to make changes to navigate the challenges. Perhaps you had to implement redundancies or restructure your business, creating skills gaps as your business changed to fit the new mould. An apprenticeship could enable you to gain the skills that your business currently lacks.
Shape your business for the future
By taking on an apprentice, you can take control of your organisation’s future. By investing your time in an apprentice, you can weave new skills into your business and take advantage of the fresh perspective that a new staff member would contribute. You can tailor an apprenticeship specifically to your business and train your new employee to suit your business needs.
The training might not cost you a penny
Thanks to the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, and the Co-funded models for smaller businesses, 95% to 100% of the apprentice training costs will be government-funded. The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in 2017 to create national funding for apprenticeships and enable businesses of all sizes to implement their own apprenticeship programmes.
Supporting employers new to the apprenticeship service
From 1 April 2021 all new apprenticeships will be managed and funded using the apprenticeship service. The government have produced a comprehensive introduction video that takes you through the steps and explains:
- What we do as your chosen training provider for the apprenticeship
- What you need to do to get your apprenticeship service account in place
- Take a look at the video and contact our team on 023 9253 8700 for further guidance and support.
Partner with PETA
If you’ve identified a skills gap within your business or you’d new staff trained with your business in mind, an apprenticeship is the ideal solution. At PETA, we will work with you to create an apprenticeship role that will fulfil your business needs and more.
We have a great reputation for delivering successful apprenticeship programmes, which is why the best employers choose to partner with us to recruit and train new staff in the roles they require. We offer apprenticeship programmes in the areas of IT and Digital, Business, Engineering and Management.
Apprenticeship training is flexible and can be adapted to the needs of your business. Using a framework of standards set with a training provider, you can train a new apprentice in your business practices, safe in the knowledge they are building the right skill set from day one.
At PETA, we have a highly experienced team on hand to help you with anything from developing your recruitment strategy to managing your apprenticeship funding, ensuring you maximise your investment in apprenticeships. There are many advantages of employing an apprentice and we’re ready and waiting to chat these through with you if you wish.
To take advantage of the government apprenticeship incentive, your new apprentice must be signed up and have started in their new role by 31 January 2022. To find out more, please get in touch.
Sign up to receive news and updates...
Our customers have access to cutting edge information and insights, specifically tailored to them and their industry. Get the latest opinion and expert views through news, events, case studies and apprentice stories.