Training and skills will play a huge role in the UK’s ability to rebuild and recover post-Covid, and the government’s Plan for Jobs includes a number of policy decisions and incentives designed to provide short-term support to businesses and individuals.

These measures are aimed not only at protecting and creating jobs, but at building business capacity and capability through skills development. With a number of government incentives available to employers who want to recruit and develop new staff, we explain how your business can use these opportunities as a springboard to recovery and growth.


1. Recruit the right people

The Plan for Jobs includes new funding to support the creation of high quality jobs and give young people the chance to develop their confidence and skills in the workplace. As an employer you’ll benefit from financial support to recruit someone at the beginning of their journey into employment.

(£) Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme will fund thousands of 6-month work placements for 16-24 year olds who are on Universal Credit and struggling to compete in a particularly difficult jobs market.

Funding available will cover 100% of the relevant national minimum wage for 25 hours per week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

(£) Traineeship Incentives

The government is also expanding traineeship provision, with funding for employers who can provide trainees with a work experience placement. You will receive £1,000 per trainee, up to a maximum of 10 trainees per business.

Traineeships combine classroom learning with a period of work experience, giving 16-24 year olds a chance to develop their knowledge and skills in your industry. You’ll be introduced to work-ready candidates and get the chance to recruit motivated young employees, eager to grow with your business.

More information about traineeships can be found here.


2. Build capacity and capability through apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a great way to grow and develop your workforce talent. All new apprenticeships are now on standards, which have been designed by employers to meet the needs of industry. They focus on developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for a particular occupation.

(£) Apprenticeship incentives

Until the end of January 2021 your business will receive £2,000 for each new 16-24 year old apprentice you recruit, or £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over. This is in addition to payments of £1,000 that already available to help cover the costs of training a 16-18 year old apprentice (or 19-24 year old who has previously been in care or has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan).

This means you could be eligible to receive up to £3,000 for each new apprentice you recruit (or up to £4,000 if you choose to combine with the traineeship incentive, and recruit a young person who has already completed a period of work experience).

More information about the apprenticeship incentives can be found here.


3. Retain staff through skills development

Attracting new talent into your business to build capacity and capability is just the first step towards building a competent and productive workforce. Don’t forget, you can also upskill existing staff using the multitude of apprenticeship standards available.

Apprenticeships can be used to nurture individuals through different stages of their career, from entry level roles through to specialist occupations and even progression into management.

(£) Apprenticeship funding

Apprenticeships at all levels can be funded through your apprenticeship levy, or through government co-investment if you are an SME (whereby 95% of the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment is covered and you only contribute the remaining 5%). Funding can be used for existing employees as well as new recruits, enabling you to build a culture of continuous professional development.

(£) Job retention bonus

You will receive a government bonus of £1,000 for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021, as long as they earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month).

Staff who return from furlough will benefit from the training and development opportunities you can provide. In addition to supporting business objectives, apprenticeships are a long-term investment in your employees’ development and can help them to recognise their value to your business, enhancing loyalty and commitment.


4. Benefit from a skilled workforce

Government incentives are designed to provide a springboard to recovery, but used alongside funding already available for apprenticeships and skills development they can support business growth in the longer term too.

Businesses that invest in skills and workforce development benefit from:

  • Increased levels of productivity
  • Improved product or service quality
  • Improved ability to attract the brightest new talent
  • Improved staff morale
  • Improved staff retention

For more information about the new government incentives – and how they can support business recovery and growth – contact a member of the team today.