During the delivery of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs in July, Rishi Sunak provided details into the government’s plan to tackle unemployment post Covid-19. The statement included a significant initiative to support employers taking on new apprentices before 31st March 2021. We spoke to JTL’s head of marketing, Cathie Foster to find out how our latest campaign is encouraging employers to take advantage of the government support.
Data from the Department of Education revealed that employer vacancies for apprentices in April and May 2020 were 2,020 and 1,850, which compares to 10,400 and 12,580 in the same months of 2019, respectively. With this in mind, and taking into account that the industry was already facing a skills shortage prior to the Covid-19 crisis, our new campaign ‘Keep the skills alive and the lights shining’ comes at a crucial time. We want to encourage employers to build a brighter future for their business by utilising the cash incentive being offered by the government and take on an apprentice before the end of March.
How can this government scheme help you?
In recognition of the value apprentices can bring to our economy, an incentive payment of £2,000 is being offered to employers who hire an apprentice between the age of 16-24 years old, while £1,500 will be paid when an apprentice aged 25 and over is taken on. Employers can expect to receive the payment directly into their bank accounts in two equal instalments, where the apprentice is still in learning at day 90 and day 365. At both of these points, employers can claim equal payments of £1,000 for 16 to 24-year-olds or £750 for learners aged 25 and over. Employers will need to set up an account on The Apprenticeship Service portal in order to access the funding, which JTL can assist with.
There is no limit on the number of incentive payments that an employer can claim for apprentices eligible to receive funding, providing each apprentice meets the criteria. The apprentice must be a new employee to the business, have a contract of employment start date between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 (inclusive), and must not have been employed by the employer within the six months prior to the contract start date. Plus, this incentive can be used in addition to the existing £1,000 government grant available if you take on an apprentice aged 16-18.
How can JTL support?
At JTL, we deliver high-quality learning across 100 centres throughout England and Wales, and currently work with over 3,800 businesses with around 8,000 apprentices in learning. We believe the new government initiatives are an important landmark for apprenticeships and will play an important role in the UK’s recovery effort.
So, with March just around the corner, now is the last opportunity for employers to access the government funding and take on apprentices to further support their individual business, as well as helping the wider Covid-19 economic recovery plan.
As part of JTL’s support offering and to ensure the pipeline of skilled tradespeople continues, we are on-hand to speak to employers who are keen to invest in the training and development of an apprentice, and to help employers make the most of the government financial assistance available to them. For help and advice, call us on 0800 085 2308.