Boost your business with new government employment initiatives

After launching a summer incentive scheme to boost apprenticeships, the government is now offering more schemes to help businesses during this turbulent economic time.

Whilst it’s been a difficult time for apprenticeships and those businesses running them, there is support from the government. There are now a number of measures in place to boost businesses, the economy and employment for young people who have been massively impacted by the pandemic.

Lifetime Skills Guarantee

The new Lifetime Skills Guarantee set out by the government aims to offer free funded courses to adults who do not have A-levels or equivalent qualifications. There will be a list of courses that are part of the scheme coming out shortly and the scheme starts in April.

Apprenticeship opportunities will also be increased, with more opportunities for SMEs and changes to the way training is structured for apprentices, making it more flexible in industries where roles are more agile. There will also be more flexibility for people looking for higher education loans.

More details on the above are expected later this year.

Apprenticeship Incentives

Recently the Government announced their latest incentive payments for employers who hire new apprentices between 1st August 2020 and 21st January 2021. It is now confirmed incentive payments will be made to employers who hire an apprentice with a contract start date between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021.

To qualify for the incentive payment, the apprentice must be a new employee and not have worked for the employer within the last six months prior to their contract start date. However, it is worth noting, apprentices who have a contract start date between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021 do not have to be hired as an apprentice, meaning employees who start in your business through normal recruitment channels and meet the eligibility criteria can attract the new hire incentives.

This makes the incentive a beneficial side effect of starting a new team member on an apprenticeship within their first few months of employment.

You can read more about the incentives here. Or get in touch for more information.

The Kickstart Scheme

In a nutshell, this is a government-funded employment scheme worth £2 billion. It is designed to create thousands of new, subsidised jobs for young people nationwide.

What does the Kickstart scheme mean for employees and businesses?

6 months paid work in a business

100% of wages funded by the government (minimum wage)

National insurance contributions fully funded by the government

Employer minimum auto enrolment contributions also funded by government

£1.5K towards other job associated costs e.g. uniforms, preparation, training

Applies to any person on universal credit or at risk of long-term unemployment

This 6-month work placement is not an apprenticeship but can be a great way to prepare a young person for a future apprenticeship. The Kickstart initiative is a good way for you as a business to ‘vet’ the employee to see if they would fit well within your business longer term, as an apprentice for example. For the employee, it is a taster of a career, whilst getting paid at the same time.

Any organisation can apply; however, you need to be able to offer a minimum of 30 placements. The jobs - must be new and not replace another role or member of staff.

You must be offering a role of 25 hours per week or more for 6 months and pay at least the minimum wage for their age group.

You can employee them for more hours and pay them a higher wage, however the government will only fund 25 hours per week at minimum wage.

The job role itself must also not require extensive training in order to start.

Government Traineeship funding

In August 2020 the government pledged to give traineeships extra funding as well as making them more flexible and appealing to young people.

Traineeships are education and training programmes designed to provide young people (aged between 16-24yrs) with work experience who lack the skills or experience to find a job or an apprenticeship. As defined by the government, a traineeship is a programme of learning and skill development - unlike an apprenticeship which is a job.

Traineeships are often known as pre-apprenticeship programmes for those who are keen to start an apprenticeship but don’t have the right skills or qualifications to do so. They offer key skills and basic training in maths and English for example.

For an employer, a traineeship allows you to see if a candidate is suitable for an apprenticeship. For example, you can see if they show commitment, a great attitude and a level of responsibility.

To find out more about traineeships you can visit the gov.uk website.

Benefits of apprenticeships for businesses and employees

With the government boosting apprenticeship training and supporting young people into training and jobs, more job seekers and existing employees are going to be looking for apprenticeship opportunities.

For employers, apprenticeships are key to delivering skills to the right candidates, retaining top talent as well as bringing fresh new talent to your business. As businesses have to streamline and teams become leaner, apprenticeships offer stability, structured and role specific training to upskill, motivate and engage your employees – which in turn will improve retention, showcase your commitment to development and provide real-time business impact and improvements.

For existing employees, they provide the opportunity to gain a professional qualification whilst in their current role, stretching and developing their knowledge, skills, and behaviours so they can drive real business improvements. They will also feel invested in and supported which will improve morale and ensure an effective workforce.

Contact us today to find out more about our apprenticeship service.

About Sean Cosgrove

Sean is Lifetime's Chief Commercial Officer, proud to support learners and employers across the UK access high quality training solutions. Sean joined Lifetime in 2016 when he relocated from Sydney to London, and has 10+ years experience in vocational education.

 

 

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