It’s challenging to keep up all the different offers of support that the government releases, understanding how they work or even where to access them. In terms of adding to your workforce, there are some opportunities they you may wish to consider exploring.
There are many benefits to hiring an apprentice and if you are in a position to be able to employ one in the current climate, there are some additional benefits on top of these.
In England, the government has set out their plans to support employers and aid economic recovery by offering between £1,500 and £2,000, If you hire an apprentice between August 1st, 2020 and January 31st, 2021
For a new apprentice aged 16-24 you will receive an incentive payment of £2,000.
For a new apprentice aged 25 or over you will receive an incentive payment of £1,500.
To access this, you will need to make the claim directly with the government Apprenticeship Service, then you will receive direct payment in two equal instalments at day 90 and day 365 of the apprenticeship. There is no limit to the number of apprentices you can take on and therefore the number of incentive payments you can receive!
There are a few conditions, they must be a new apprentice that you hire, and they cannot have worked for you within the last 6 months, prior to their (apprenticeship) contract start date.
Apprentices who have been made redundant are eligible if they are a new employee to your organisation. To receive the second instalment, the apprentice must have at least one year (356 days) of training left to complete.
Even if they already have qualifications, as long as the new apprenticeship is significantly different to the previous one, this isn’t a barrier to accessing the incentives.
On top of these benefits you can also receive an additional £1,000 by hiring an apprentice aged 16-18 or an apprentice aged 19-24 who has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan (EHC).
In addition to the original incentives
Remember, this is on top of the existing incentive for of £1,000 you receive for employing a 16-18-year-old apprentice. So potentially you could receive up to £4,000 for taking on a new apprentice!
You still pay for training either via your ‘levy’ or if you are not a levy payer then you will contribute 5% of training costs, unless you employ less than 50 people and take on a 16-18 year old (when the 5% is not required).
You may not have come across Traineeships; they provide unpaid work experience to 16-24-year-olds. They typically last between 12 weeks to 6 months, and If you are able to provide a work placement and training, you will be eligible to receive £1,000 per trainee, this is limited to 10 trainees per employer.
You will be required to provide an exit interview for your trainees, or, if there is a suitable vacancy in your company, an opportunity to interview for the position. The government’s Kickstart Scheme could also support you for the first 6 months of employment by covering wages and National Insurance contributions (for 16-24-year olds). Or, you could use it as an induction program to see if they are suitable for an apprenticeship, after all, they will have learnt many of the basic skills for the role, along with getting to know you and your company.
So, if you are in a position to employ additional staff, now may be a good time to take a closer look at these incentives.