Increased Cash Incentives for Employers

Cash incentives for employers introducing apprentices into their businesses are set to double and with the time period of this offer increasing also. Since the August of 2020, firms taking on apprentices age 16-24 could receive £2,000, and apprentices aged 25 and over would bring in a £1,500 incentive.

Due to the lower-than-forecasted take up of this offer, Rishi Sunak has unveiled his plans to extend the incentive period to September 2021 (rather than the previously planned April 2021) and also to increase the value of this incentive. The Treasury had initially budgeted for up to 100,000 of these incentive payments to be made to employers across the UK, however only just over a quarter of this target was reached, with 25,420 claims submitted by employers.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has revealed that the cash incentive has risen to £3,000 per apprentice recruited, regardless of their age. This dramatically widens the parameters for any organisation that was considering taking on an apprentice due to the higher incentive, but may not have been completely sold on recruiting potentially a less experienced candidate aged below 25.

These new incentives will be incredibly appealing to smaller-businesses who are identifying skills-gaps in their workforce as a result of the past years on-off lockdown restrictions. Recruiting apprentices for roles in IT or digital marketing for example, to improve the online presence of their business could be hugely beneficial.

Speaking on the additions to the schemes, Rishi Sunak, said: “Our Plan for Jobs has spread opportunity and hope throughout the crisis – helping people back into work and harnessing their talents for the future.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike.”

Traineeships have also been included in the Chancellors budget for 2021, with £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England, with a plan to fund high quality work placements and training for those aged 16-24 in 2021/22.

Coupled with these increased cash incentives for employers across the nation, are more localized opportunities for implementing apprenticeships at a reduced cost, with schemes such as 100 in 100 and Transfer to Transform. The Solent Apprenticeship Hub are currently working with Shaping Portsmouth, Portsmouth City Council and other partners on the new 100 in 100 programme. The aim of this programme is to create 100 roles for young people in Portsmouth’s businesses in 100 days. This includes apprenticeships, traineeships, kickstart placements or any other skills programmes.

The Transfer to Transform scheme, which has already seen more than £1m distributed to small businesses across the Solent region, was introduced in the middle of 2020 to help boost smaller businesses that wished to upskill their workforce with apprenticeships, but were perhaps hesitant to make the jump financially due to the uncertainty of the timing. Funding is still available through this scheme for eligible small businesses across the Solent region.

To find out more about the increased cash incentives for employers, 100 in 100, Transfer to Transform or apprenticeships more generally – contact a member of the team at the Apprenticeship Hub, we can be reached by our live chat feature, by email: hello@theapprenticeshiphub.com or via our social media direct messages.