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It’s never been more affordable for businesses to take on an apprentice

With a brand new bonus introduced for businesses to hire apprentices over the next six months, this means that employers could receive up to £3,000* for hiring an apprentice between August 2020 to March 2021 (extended from January).

Apprenticeship incentive
*The £2,000 incentive is on top of an existing £1,000 incentive that already exists for 18-year-old apprentices as well as certain 19 to 24 year-olds.

But what does this mean for your business in a post-pandemic landscape, and how can the team here at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) help you to stay competitive and develop, diversify and retain your workforce cost-effectively?

We have a dedicated apprenticeships team that can provide valuable support such as helping you recruit an apprentice and access funding for training as well as wage incentives. In addition to that, we can also facilitate levy transfer and provide free employer mentoring. And as we have already done for many local businesses, we can also work with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to identify a ‘donor’ levy paying company that could cover 100% of the training costs.

If you were considering hiring prior to COVID-19 and put your plans on hold because of the crisis – now is the time to think again, because it’s never been more affordable to hire an apprentice to help drive your business forward.

Fliss Miller, Head of Apprenticeship at NTU explained: “There is a line of thought that says the best time to invest is during a downturn. Apprenticeships are an affordable and effective way of growing and retaining a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce, diversifying your team, and bringing in new ideas to the organisation that will aid succession planning.”

We know apprenticeships work – 86% of employers said apprenticeships developed skills relevant to their organisation and 78% reported improved productivity. On top of that, 90% of apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing an apprenticeship (

Realm Projects

Speaking from experience

We spoke to Graeme Blakey, co-founder and director of Realm Projects, a Mansfield-based commercial joinery specialist company that’s made apprenticeships a key part of their recruitment strategy.

He explained: “The joinery and manufacturing industry has been under pressure for a number of years because of economic issues and competition from overseas, so we've had to find new and innovative ways to sharpen up our processes and find new markets. However, it's been a challenge to get new people through the door. We haven't always seen the level of applications we'd like from younger people, but it's also difficult to recruit experienced people suited to the type of work we do, so for the past 16 years we've made apprenticeships a central part of our recruitment strategy."

"Many of our previous joinery apprentices have developed their career here and have progressed into technical drafting and project management roles, so there are lots of opportunities to progress."

How your business could benefit from the new incentive scheme

  • Businesses that employ 16 to 18-year-old apprentices already receive a £1,000 incentive from the government for doing so. This usually goes to offsetting the apprentices’ wages. This also applies to those aged 19 to 24 and subject to an EHC plan.
  • From August 2020 to March 2021 any business that hires an apprentice aged 16 to 24 will receive £2,000 for doing so, in addition to the existing £1,000 for those aged 16 to 18, and the eligible 19 to 24-year-olds mentioned above.
  • If a business hires an apprentice aged 25 and over during the same time period, they will receive a £1,500 incentive.
  • SME’s also receive 95% of the training costs for any apprentice(s) that they employ. The additional 5% can also be covered if a ‘donor’ levy paying company can be identified.

Please get in touch with our Apprenticeships team by emailing or phoning 0115 848 2589, and find out how we can help your business today.

It’s never been more affordable for businesses to take on an apprentice

Published on 23 July 2020
  • Category: Business

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