Government funded apprenticeship incentives
On 1 June 2021, the Department for Education (DfE) announced extra funding for employers of all sizes that take on new apprentices. The incentive applies to businesses that hire apprentices between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021.
The initiative is intended to promote training and skills development, encouraging employers to invest in a skilled workforce. Employers can choose how to spend the cash; for example, they can offer to cover uniforms or travel costs for apprentices.
The boost to the apprenticeship incentive scheme was confirmed by the Chancellor in the Budget in March 2021 as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs announced in conjunction with its Build Back Better policies. The funding builds on existing measures to protect, support and create more jobs while bringing the country’s skills and education system closer to the employer market and widening the opportunities that are available.
£3,000 is available for new apprentices of any age. The previous incentive offered £1500 for an apprentice aged 25 or over - or £2000 for an apprentice aged 16-24 - recruited between 1 Aug 2020 and 31 March 2021. Thousands of businesses across the country have taken advantage of the original incentive scheme that was announced in July 2020.
 Commitment to apprenticeships and traineeships
Apprenticeships are playing a central role in the Government’s reforms to post-16 education and training, ensuring more people can gain the skills they need to get the jobs they want in a wide range of sectors ranging from engineering to clean energy. The Government is also investing £126 million to help create 40,000 more traineeships in England, for 16- to 24-year-olds in 2021-22.
Traineeships are programmes lasting between six weeks and 12 months that offer young people training and work placements that boost employability, bridge skills gaps and bolster the future talent pipeline of businesses. Employers can apply for a £1000 cash boost to help them deliver traineeships for up to 10 learners per region in each of the nine regions of England.The application form for traineeships can be found here.
Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said, “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for employers large and small to grow their businesses and will continue to play a key role in our economic recovery. This cash boost will help even more employers to invest in their future workforce, creating more high quality apprenticeship opportunities so businesses have the skilled talent pipeline they need to thrive, not just today but also in the future.”
Helena Baxter, apprenticeship lead, Walsall Council said, “Apprenticeships are good for business, as apprentices can be moulded and shaped in their area of expertise, to deliver the exact skills your business needs. Continuing to bring apprentices into the business, even in such difficult times, is important to protect our future, whilst ensuring we continue to deliver the vital services our communities depend upon. I would urge all employers to continue to recruit, and to benefit from government incentives to ease financial burden, whilst offering exciting and rewarding careers opportunities to apprentices.
Abby Swift joined MTR Elizabeth Line as a Customer Experience apprentice using the incentive payment scheme. She said, “My apprenticeship so far has been a great opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge whilst working within a great team at MTR Elizabeth line. I would encourage other people to consider it as an option.”
- Apprenticeship Levy transfer service.
- Budget 2021.
- Cash incentives for employers to hire new apprentices doubled.
- Civil engineer quashes apprenticeship myths.
- Construction apprenticeships.
- National Infrastructure Plan for Skills.
- Payments for recruiting new apprentices.
- Tackling the construction skills shortage.