Throughout the uncertainty of the last 18 months, the Government has been on hand to provide support to businesses across the country, with schemes including furlough, the SEISS grant and recovery loan scheme offering a vital boost.

 

Now, as many of these schemes scale back and the world attempts to get back to some form of normality, the support on offer is focused on building for the future, rather than simply helping employers get by.

 

Employment may be the last thing on your mind after a global pandemic, but for those who are looking to grow and future proof their business with apprentices, there is support out there in the form of the Kickstart and Apprenticeship Funding schemes.

 

Here’s our guide to everything you need to know:

 

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

 

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds who are at risk of long term unemployment.

 

Alongside the wage subsidy, the employer will also receive £1,500 per placement to set up support and training, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other start-up costs.

 

Employers of any size can apply for the funding, which will cover:

  • 100 per cent of the national minimum wage for 25 hours per week, for a total of six months
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Minimum automatic pension enrolment contributions

 

The job start dates can be spread up until December 31st, 2021. Funding will be available until June 30th, 2022, if a young person was to start their job on December 31st.

 

Which businesses can use it?

 

There are thousands of Kickstart Scheme jobs available in a wide range of sectors across England, Scotland and Wales, including tech and digital, creative industries, engineering and manufacturing, marketing, sports, beauty, retail, forestry, and many more.

 

Leading pub chain, Greene King, for example, has helped over 1,000 young people through the Kickstart Scheme.

 

What is the Apprenticeship Funding Scheme?

 

Another programme the government has launched is the Apprenticeship Funding Scheme. This supports businesses that would not be in a position to hire unexperienced staff members, but with the support of this programme can recruit individuals aged 16 to 24.

 

Businesses can claim up to £4,000. The closing date for applications is January 2022.

 

For each apprentice, the business owner will pay 5 per cent of the cost of training and the government will pay the remaining 95 per cent. Extra funding may be available for younger apprentices (aged 16-18) and apprentices who have been in care.

 

Which businesses can use it?

 

Most organisations can hire an apprentice by finding a relevant training course suited to the company and then finding the training provider who can support the apprentice on their journey. Information on the courses can be found here.

 

What does an apprenticeship involve?

 

Most apprenticeships are offered in partnership with a training organisation, where they will have to work at least 30 hours a week. However, an apprentice’s weekly hours can be reduced if their apprenticeship programme is extended.

 

The apprentice must receive the appropriate minimum wage.

 

What are the benefits?

 

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to future proof and bring new perspectives to your business, especially if the apprentices are familiar with new technologies

 

In a survey commissioned by the government in 2017, three-quarters of employers highlighted improved productivity, better quality of product or service, and higher staff morale by apprentices, showing how they are keen to learn and develop their careers.

 

Plus, 86 per cent of employers reported benefiting from ‘the development of skills relevant to the organisation’ by hiring apprentices.

 

These schemes can help workplaces get the support they need, whilst expanding by hiring more team members. The apprentices can also be trained to work their way up to be official team members.

 

The Apprentice Funding Scheme, in particular, has already helped thousands of employers to grow their business.

 

How do I get involved?

 

Employers looking to hire apprentices and make use of the scheme must apply through the Gov.uk website.

 

For more information and to apply for the Kickstart Scheme, click here.

 

And to apply for the Apprenticeship Funding Scheme, click here.

 

If you’d like to talk to us about support your business may be eligible for, get in touch here, call 01642 244090 or drop us an email at info@chuhanandsingh.co.uk