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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire College welcomes £4k apprentice incentive

Incentives which will see businesses receive up to £4,000 for each new apprentice taken on before September have been welcomed by Gloucestershire College.

Government payments designed to encourage the recruitment of apprentices were introduced in July and were originally intended to end in January.

But Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget spelled out a further extension of the scheme together with an increase in the amount paid to £3,000 from April, on top of the £1,000 incentive for taking on apprentices aged 16-18.

Gloucestershire College's director of employer training Julie Tegg said: "The increased financial support available for businesses announced as part of the Government's Plan for Jobs is great news for Gloucestershire businesses who are already bucking the national trend and continuing to back local talent and bring apprentices into their organisations, despite the challenges brought about by Covid-19.

"It's particularly good news for those employers looking to take advantage of the redevelopment of our Cheltenham campus for IT, cyber and engineering following our successful bid to become one of 12 Institutes of Technology in the UK, alongside our partners Weston College, the University of the West of England, Bath College and Yeovil College, which will be ready for new apprentices joining us in September."

The latest figures from the Department for Education showed there were 91,100 apprenticeship starts for the first quarter of 2020/21 (Aug-Oct 20) compared to 125,800 for the same period in 2019 (down 27.58 per cent).

That national trend has not been reflected at Gloucestershire College, which has welcomed more than 650 new apprentices since September 2020.

What is an apprenticeship?

  • Apprentices are full-time employees who work alongside other staff members while gaining job-specific skills.
  • Apprenticeships allow anyone aged 16 or above to build the skills and knowledge needed in their chosen career path and will also lead to nationally recognised qualifications.
  • Ranging from entry to degree level, there is no limit to what can be achieved through an apprenticeship.

What is required from employers?

  • Full-time employment of the apprentice for the duration of their apprenticeship.
  • National apprenticeship minimum wage must be paid to any apprentice hired.
  • 20 per cent off the job training - this could be day release, block delivery in college or online training depending on the apprenticeship programme.

What are the benefits for employers?

  • Receive an incentive payment from the Government of up to £4,000 for each new apprentice hired before September 30.
  • Gain a loyal and enthusiastic employee who will bring fresh new talent and ideas into your organisation.
  • Shape the development of apprentices to meet the needs of your business as they grow and train.
  • Apprenticeships are a great way to build the talent pipeline of your organisation and fill skill gaps.

How are the apprenticeship incentives paid?

  • To claim the incentives, employers need to set up an online Apprenticeship Service account and request the payments. The money will be paid directly into their business bank account.

For more information on apprenticeship programmes available and for support in setting up an Apprenticeship Service account contact business.hub@gloscol.ac.uk

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