Employers get Apprenticeship boost

The government has confirmed an extension of the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16-24 year olds (AGE 16-24) to March 2014. The £1,500 grant is available to help businesses with fewer than 1000 employees take on an apprentice.(1)

Initially only on offer during the 2012/13 financial year, the funding has been extended following a positive response from employers. It has also been increased, so eligible employers can claim the grant for up to ten apprentices.(2)

Business Secretary, Vince Cable said: “I know it can be a big decision for busy, small companies to take on an apprentice. Employers may be concerned about the time recruitment and training will take, and anxious about how it will work. So the £1500 grant is a token to acknowledge this and thank employers. I hope many more people will take us up on our cash incentive to grow their business, and train up the workforce of the future.”

The announcement times with the start of a new nationwide radio advertising campaign to encourage more employers to take on an apprentice and to highlight the availability of the AGE grant.

The National Apprenticeship Service adverts, which will run across national and regional commercial stations in January and February, reinforce the quality of Apprenticeships and how they are helping businesses to grow. This is done through the personal accounts of eight employers: Mediacom, J A Cliff Building Services, North York Moors National Park, FCO Services, Barlows UK Ltd, Visa Europe, TMB Patterns and Persona HR.

David Way, chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “We know that many businesses believe Apprenticeships deliver the skills needed for growth so we are delighted AGE 16-24 has been positively received by employers for helping them to do just that.

“Apprenticeships come with a guarantee of quality, giving young people a job with training, and are proven to deliver a significant return on investment, so this really is a win-win initiative for employers. There has never been a better time to recruit an apprentice, so I hope more organisations will look at how they can benefit from this grant over the coming 12 months and reap the rewards of a more motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.”