Leicester College Blog

Grow your own workforce


Apprenticeships have traditionally been the reserve of industries such as construction, manufacturing and engineering. Times are changing and today apprenticeships are available in a hugely diverse range of industries including business and administration, creative and digital, legal and accounting, sales and marketing, and childcare and education, as well as industries more traditionally associated with apprenticeships.

From 1st August 2020 until the 31 January 2021, businesses (non levy and levy) taking on new apprentices will be rewarded with £2,000 for a 16 to 24-year-old and £1,500 for a 25 year-old. The apprentice must be a new employee to the business, have a contract of employment start date between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 (inclusive) and must not have been employed by the employer within the six months prior to the contract start date.

This means an employer recruiting a 16-18 year old would receive the £1,000 incentive and the new £2,000 incentive. Claims can start to be made by employers in relation to these apprentices from 1 September 2020. Those claims must be made through the apprenticeship service which you need to register for click here. The payment will be made directly to employers in two equal instalments, where the apprentice is still in learning at day 90 and day 365.

From 1st September the employers will need to register on the online apprenticeship system to be able to claim the new incentive grant payments. You can read all the guidelines here.

You might think they can also only be for new members of staff, and school leavers, but apprenticeships are now available from level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) right through to level 7 (postgraduate). An apprentice could be someone you have recruited specifically for a new apprenticeship role, or you might want to make an existing member of your staff an apprentice to up-skill them, and if you are an Apprenticeship Levy payer use some of your levy fund to pay for their training.

Here are five reasons why an apprenticeship could be great for your business:

  1. Businesses report an average increase in productivity by £214 a week when they hire apprentices.
  2. 82% of employers say that their apprentices had improved their ability to do their job.
  3. Apprentices provide skilled workers for the future, trained in a way which will benefit your business.
  4. 90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship, helping to reduce staff turn over.
  5. If you employ apprentices under the age of 25 you don’t have to pay National Insurance contributions for them, up to the upper earnings limit.

In a recent survey of employers, who we work with, 89% of them said that the training from Leicester College had positively impacted on their business, and 95% would recommend us.

Our expert staff can support you through the process of recruiting apprentices or moving existing staff onto an apprenticeship, no matter whether you are a small business or a large levy payer.

Call us on 0116 224 2240 to discuss your requirements or email us.


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