Posted on Jul 08, 2020
It’s certainly the #SummerOfSkills as Rishi Sunak announces his ‘plan for jobs’
In Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer statement, he outlined the government’s new campaign, a ‘plan for jobs’. The announcement on July 8, dubbed a ‘mini budget’, included a range of new schemes which aim to support employers and individuals recover from the Coronavirus pandemic and get the economy back up and running.
His statement included a range of incentives to support people into employment, as well as supporting employers with narrowing skills gaps within their organisation by employing apprentices and trainees.
Here’s everything that was announced in the summer statement that will impact skills and training:
Cash grants for employers who hire an apprentice
Any employer looking to hire an apprentice in the next six months will be eligible for a cash ‘bonus’. Sunak announced that from August 2020 to January 2021, any employer who hires an apprentice will receive £2,000 for apprentices aged 16-24, and £1,500 for apprentices over the age of 25. This grant is in addition to the existing £1,000 available for those hiring an apprentice aged 16-18.
Incentives for businesses taking on trainees
Sunak praised the effectiveness of traineeships as he announced that £1,000 per trainee will be paid to any organisation that hires an eligible trainee. Traineeships are flexible training programmes lasting anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months, allowing employers to find the best candidates for vacancies while giving young people work experience that unlocks their potential, preparing them for their future career by helping them to become work ready. The bonus will be limited to 10 trainees per employer, and eligibility for trainees will be expanded to those with a level 3 qualification and below.
‘Kickstart Scheme’ to create jobs for young people
The Chancellor also announced a £2billion kickstart fund to create high-quality work placements aimed at those 16-24 on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding will cover 100% of the national minimum wage for six months, although they need to work 25 hours a week. Plus, an amount to cover overheads. Funding for this scheme is conditional on employers proving that the jobs are additional. Employers can apply to be part of the scheme from next month - with Sunak urging all employers to apply for the scheme, committing to there being no cap on the number of places available.
The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is set to end in October. Sunak made it clear that there would be no extension on this - however he is encouraging businesses to stick by their employees with a £1,000 bonus per employee that is brought back from furlough and is still employed in January 2021.
Local authorities are also announcing their own schemes too, which offer even more incentives to support young people into work.
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