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Norfolk and Suffolk businesses set for extra boost for apprentices

03 August 2020

Apprenticeships Norfolk and Apprenticeships Suffolk are launching a reward package, Recruit Retain Reward - providing £1,000 grants for businesses taking on new and/or redundant young apprentices, aged 16-24.

In a bid to give small and medium-sized Norfolk and Suffolk businesses as much support as possible, the project aims to offer a flexible ‘Apprenticeship Incentive Fund’ of £1000 giving businesses a boost to recruit their workforce of the future.

Employers who take on apprentices can experience a wide range of benefits; developing apprentices’ skills to be relevant to the organisation, along with improved productivity, better quality of product or service, and higher staff morale are benefits highlighted by around three-quarters of employers. More than 8 out 10 employers recommend an apprenticeship to others *

The new incentive scheme across Norfolk and Suffolk, will complement and further enhance the new Government apprenticeship incentives announced recently by the chancellor Rishi Sunak (£2,000 for 16-24, £1,500 for 25+), and also the existing age incentives of £1,000 for 16-18s (19-24 with an Education Health Care plan).

In addition to the one-off financial payment, there will also be continued support for organisations who are new to apprenticeships. A collection of online resources are being created to support businesses employing an apprentice for the first time. This includes practical guidance and useful information from existing, local apprenticeship ambassadors to help add real value to the business.

It is hoped that the project, which is sponsored by the East of England Employer Ambassador Apprenticeship Network, will encourage apprenticeship starts across Norfolk and Suffolk, post COVID-19.

Norfolk County Councillor Graham Plant, Cabinet Member for Growing the Economy said: “We know that apprentices can bring real innovation and value to an organisation and as businesses begin to develop new ways of working post CV19, this project provides a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to support young people in Norfolk through an apprenticeship scheme.”

Suffolk County Councillor Mary Evans Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills said: “I am delighted to see the launch of this reward package for businesses in Suffolk. The project provides an excellent package of support for our local employers who are keen to find and develop emerging talent and invest in the future growth of their organisation.”

Apprenticeships Norfolk and Apprenticeships Suffolk provide an impartial service to all employers, providers, apprentices and stakeholders. Further details of the project can be found via www.apprenticeshipsnorfolk.org and www.apprenticeshipssuffolk.org

* Data source: GOV.UK publications

Terms and conditions

  • ‘Recruit’ incentive grants and ‘Retain’ recognition grants are awarded subject to availability
  • Only one grant will be awarded per apprentice – either a ‘Recruit’ incentive grant or a ‘Retain’ recognition grant. Grants are limited to a maximum of three per organisation
  • Grants are open to businesses who are not subject to the apprenticeship levy (ie organisation payroll under £3m)
  • To be eligible the organisation must have a trading address within the Norfolk or Suffolk County Council administrative boundaries
  • To be eligible the apprentice must be aged 16-24 years at the start date of the apprenticeship
  • ‘Recruit’ incentive grants are open to organisations who do not currently employ apprentices and have not done so within the last 12 months
  • ‘Recruit’ incentive grants are designed to incentivise employers to create a new substantive role; not to convert an existing employee’s role into an apprenticeship
  • ‘Retain’ recognition grants are available if the apprentice has a minimum of 26 weeks remaining ‘on programme’ before completing (for frameworks) or reaching the end point assessment gateway point (for standards)
  • ‘Retain’ recognition grants are aimed at supporting post COVID-19 redundancies only - ie: apprentices made redundant after 19 March 2020 

Employers are not eligible for redundancy recognition grants if they employ an apprentice back into their organisation, that they previously made redundant.

Redundancies must be genuine and not dismissal due to poor performance or resignation.

  • Applications must be fully completed, including bipartite electronic signatures. Declaration forms must be fully completed, including tripartite electronic signatures. Forms must be submitted from either their organisations email address or the training provider's email address. Acknowledgements will be emailed to both parties
  • Applications will be accepted for apprenticeship starts on/after 1 August 2020. Grants can be applied for and reserved, up to a max of 6 weeks in advance of the apprenticeship start date
  • In any eventuality, both successful and unsuccessful applications/declarations will be notified by email
  • For both grant payments, there is a one-off payment after 12 weeks (to align to the completion of the first or next planned progress review). The declaration must be completed and submitted in order that payment can be made. There is a maximum buffer of an additional 4 weeks before the application will be closed and funds reallocated, if the declaration has not been received. In the event the apprentice does not remain employed/stay on programme for at least 12 weeks, the applicant is not eligible for the grant payment and the application will be closed
  • Appeals procedure; Apprenticeships Norfolk/Apprenticeships Suffolk reserve the right to complete audit checks to ensure applications are aligned to R|R|R terms and conditions. Applications or declarations not meeting the criteria will be deemed as unsuccessful. In the first instance a decision will be made by the awarding authority. Applicants have the right to appeal this decision, if they believe the application does meet all the eligibility criteria and have other supporting evidence to validate this. In the event of an appeal, a decision will be made by an independent party. Appeals must be submitted within 14 working days, and appeal decisions will be communicated within 14 working days of being submitted. Appeal decisions made by the independent party will be final

NB: Conditions will be self-certified by employer and signed as ‘true and accurate to best of knowledge’ – we will reserve the right complete audit checks and refuse payment if found to be in breach.

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