In the latest government budget announcement, apprenticeships once again found themselves receiving a boost from the government. This provides further hiring and employment incentives which will increase opportunities for employers to bring in talent of all ages and support their development with an apprenticeship.
The first bit of news to come out of the update is that the cash incentive for employers hiring new apprentices will be extended from March 31st to September 30th.
This means any employee a business hires from August 2020 through to September 20th, 2021 would be eligible for an incentive payment of up to £4000 no matter the apprenticeship chosen.
The continuation of the incentive is inline with businesses returning to a closer sense of normality and hopefully expanding their workforces to pre-COVID levels.
Professional Academy’s Apprenticeship Adviser, Wendy Spaxman, had this to say about the news…
“We are delighted to hear the employment incentive for apprenticeships has been extended to September as this will give a massive boost to employers looking to bring in an apprentice to the business, especially those SMEs who are keen to bring in new sales & marketers but are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic.”
According to a recent FE Week article about the incentive scheme, only 25,420 employers in the UK (as of February 1st) have claimed the employment incentive but with the roadmap to ending lockdown in front of us now, the hope is that uptake will increase as businesses look to grow their teams.
Previously the Apprenticeship Employment Incentive offered £2000 to learners aged 16 to 24 (with 16 – 18 able to claim an additional £1000) and £1500 for hires over 24 years old, but the new incentive scheme will expand this to £3000 per hire no matter the apprentice’s age.
The £1000 additional payment for 16 – 18-year-old apprentices is also still available meaning there is a significant amount employment funding out there for employers looking to bring fresh talent into the business and support that talent with accredited apprenticeship training.
With the incentive being increased for all adult learners this give employers far more hiring flexibility as well as additional scope to take on those who are looking to change industry after significant time on the job due to the impacts of the pandemic.
When asked for his opinion on this update, Professional Academy’s Sales & Marketing Director, Michael O’Flynn had this to say…
“It is excellent news to see the incentive being expanded out to include learners over 24. The new apprenticeship standards had always been created with a slightly older audience in mind and this will give employers more opportunity to provide opportunities to those with a tremendous amount of valuable experience from hospitality or retail, two sectors that have unfortunately been massively impacted by the pandemic but whose transferable skills can be built upon to inject new talent and perspective to sales, customer service, and marketing teams in any organisation.”
Not only where the incentives expanded for employers but the introduction of a “Flexi-Job” apprenticeships, targeted at industries with flexible working patterns which will look for come into effect from January 2022.
On a final note, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, had this to say about the incentives and thinking around apprenticeships in relation to the post-pandemic recovery:
“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.”
If you are looking to take advantage of the Apprenticeship Employment Incentive to hire and train a member of your Sales & Marketing team Professional Academy offer a range of fully funded, apprenticeship programmes, delivered and supported by active sales & marketing professionals.
To find out more you can visit our Sales, Marketing, and Management apprenticeship pages or contact our apprenticeship advice team directly on 01223 365 505, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or book an advice call at a time to suit you.