Last week the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s statement included a range of measures aimed at supporting jobs, backed by £3.7 billion of public funding. Following our brief update last week we now have further clarification on some of the elements that effect Apprenticeship and Traineeship delivery.
Incentives have been confirmed for employers of new apprentices in England. A £2,000 payment will be made to employers of new apprentices aged under 25, and reducing to £1,500 if the apprentice is aged 25 or over. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 incentive already claimed by providers on behalf of employers for 16-18-year-old apprentices, or those under 25s with an Education and Health Care Plan.
The policy document contains further details about incentive payments as summarised below:
- It is payable direct to employers hiring an apprentice between the 1st August 2020 and the 31st January 2021 via the Digital Apprenticeship Service
- The apprentice must be a new employee to the business, have a contract of employment starting between the 1st August 2020 and the 31st January 2021, and not have been employed by the same employer in the six months prior to the start date
- Claims may be made by the employer from the 1st September 2020
- The incentive will be paid in two equal instalments at day 90 and day 365 (for example for the £2,000 incentive £1,000 will be paid at day 90 and £1,000 at day 365) provided the apprentice is still on programme at those points
- There will be no limit on the number of eligible apprentices for whom the employer may claim the incentive during the six month period between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021
The policy document also confirms that until 31st July 2021 the number of ‘active’ or ‘used’ reservations available to non-levy paying employers on the Digital Apprenticeship Service at any given time will increase from 3 to 10, enabling non-levy paying employers to reserve government funding through the apprenticeship service. This policy will come into effect from 15 July and will continue to be kept under review as we further assess how the new system is working.
The Traineeship programme is intended for:
- Universal credit claimants who are not currently in employment and have little work experience, but who are focused on work or the prospect of it
- those aged 16 to 24 and qualified below level 4
- people who providers and employers believe have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within six months of engaging in a traineeship
Traineeship opportunities will be tripled with an additional £111m of funding made available by the government this year, including a new employer incentive payment of £1,000 per trainee.
Connect2Care are already planning a 6 week traineeships course that would act as a pre-apprenticeship programme, giving employers the opportunity to provide work experience and to try out new staff through a three day a week work experience programme supported by 2 days a week of “virtual college” classroom skills and knowledge building. Details of how and when the employer incentive will be paid are expected soon. If an employer enables a Trainee to complete their work experience and virtual college and then move onto an apprenticeship they would receive the Traineeship bonus of £1,000 and the £2,000 apprenticeship bonus (and a further £1,000 if the apprentice is aged 16-18) when the trainee moves into a permanent apprenticeship position with the employer.
Across Britain, the government will fund work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds receiving Universal Credit and deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. The scheme will provide £2.1bn to meet the entire National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week plus National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. Details are as yet unavailable, but it is expected that job seekers will be referred to the Kickstart scheme by Job Centre Plus work coaches. The work placement must be a new role and not replacing an existing job.
Your colleagues at C2C are available to help you to navigate this process, please contact us via your usual C2C contact or 0800 954 2803 or [email protected] if we can help in any way. Alternatively for further guidance on providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak please refer to our latest employer update.