West Norfolk firms can trump Lord Sugar via funding for apprentices
West Norfolk firms can trump Lord Sugar by taking advantage of new funding to secure apprentices.
As businesses get set to recover from the pandemic, now is the time to apply for financial and business support. Apprenticeships Norfolk has secured more than £1.9m of external funding to help businesses develop their workforce through an apprenticeship scheme.
There are a variety of grants and incentives available, to support apprentices and to support a business to start an apprenticeship. Information about all current grants and incentives can be found at: https://apprenticeshipsnorfolk.org/grants
County council deputy leader Graham Plant said: “Quite often businesses, especially small to medium enterprises, are so busy with their day-to-day operations, they simply don’t have the time and resource to discover what is available to help improve their line of business.
“We want to reassure employers that our experts can help guide people through the process of recruiting apprentices. Form filling, terms and conditions, these can all feel overwhelming. With free, impartial advice, the dedicated apprenticeship team can take you to the ‘right door’ for your needs.”
There are two new schemes that will help businesses to recruit an apprentice.
As of December 1, new funding of £250,000 has been provided by 'France, Channel, England C-Care', a European Development Fund, to address social mobility issues, ensuring financial barriers to apprenticeship opportunities are removed for individuals, particularly following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Access to Apprenticeships (A2A) provides bursary grants to improve the opportunity for those aged 16-24 in Norfolk, to be able to start an apprenticeship.
The grant, of up to £500, will help young people to access funding towards the cost of travel expenses or to buy the equipment they need to start work in a specific trade. A2A could also help provide access to digital equipment/connectivity, required to enable completion of online learning or ePortfolios.
Secondly, Progression to Apprenticeships (P2A) is a pilot project running for a limited period until June 2022.
This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund (CRF) to incentivise and support progression from previous ‘feeder’ apprenticeship schemes like Kickstart and Traineeships.
P2A aims to increase the number of young people aged 16-24 moving into an apprenticeship by joining up existing initiatives. P2A will also help decrease the number of young people returning to Universal Credit/other benefits following completion of a feeder programme.
Offering financial support at transition (when a feeder programme has been completed) and in the first 26 weeks the pilot will offer reduced financial burden for the organisation at a time when the new apprentice absorbs more resource (supervision and mentoring) and is gradually building the ability to ‘add value’ to the organisation.
Financial support for employers includes:
• £1,500 incentive: £500 paid on signup, £1,000 paid after 12 weeks;
• Six-month wage contribution; paid upfront in two instalments, based on 37.5 hours a week at Apprenticeship NMW (one at sign-up and one after 12 weeks).
To register your interest for this opportunity please visit: apprenticeshipsnorfolk.org and complete the form: Progression to Apprenticeships – Initial Assessment.
Ashley Camies, Head of Recruitment Support at Perfect Placement Automotive Recruitment, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to build a strong team – you have the ability to mould these young people into the workers you need them to be, whilst also ensuring you are boosting their skills to assist them with future employment prospects."