Need apprentices for your business but were afraid to ask?

12 January 2022

As businesses get set to recover from the pandemic, now is the time to apply for financial and business support. Apprenticeships Norfolk has secured over £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 on Grants and Incentives from Apprenticeships Norfolk.

Cllr Graham Plant, Cabinet Member for Growing the Economy, 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.”

Apprenticeship grants

Access to Apprenticeships, grants of up to £500 for 16-24 year-olds. As of 1 December, 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.

Progression to Apprenticeships (P2A), keeping young people on a career path

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. By providing the P2A package from the point of transition and creating a clear and cost-effective mechanism for employers to access existing cohorts of job-ready individuals, it mitigates some of the risks and costs associated with the onboarding and mentoring of new employees:

  • £1500 incentive; £500 paid on signup, £1000 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.

“It is also great to watch the apprentices develop and hone their skills, and confidence, throughout the duration of their apprenticeship. We have seen great success from our past and present apprentices and look forward to employing more as the years progress. The Recruit | Retain | Reward incentive grant has been really beneficial to help with the costs of resources and equipment, as well as additional training for our new apprentices. It has truly allowed us to give our staff the support they deserve.”

Apprenticeships Norfolk Awards 2022

These annual awards celebrate the incredible individuals and employers across Norfolk that have gone above and beyond in apprenticeships over 2021.

This year there are six different awards:

  • Intermediate and Advanced Apprentice of the Year (Level 2/3)
  • Higher and Degree Apprentice of the Year (Level 4-7)
  • Small and Medium-sized Apprenticeships Employer of the Year (1-249 employees)
  • Large Apprenticeships Employer of the Year (250+ employees)
  • Covid-19 Recovery Special Recognition (Apprentice Award)
  • Achievement in Exceptional Circumstances (Apprentice Award)

The winners will be announced during daily ceremonies in National Apprenticeship Week 2022 (7-13 February). As well as prizes for the winners, everyone who is nominated will receive a certificate of recognition for their hard work.

#APPSNORFOLKAWARDS22

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