Since April 2021, employers have been able to claim up to £4000 for taking on new apprentices, as part of a Government initiative designed to boost skills.
Under the new arrangements announced in this year’s budget, employers will be able to claim an incentive payment of £3000 per learner if they take on a new apprentice. Moreover, employers taking on learners aged 16 to 18 (or those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan) will be able to claim an additional £1000 payment. The funding will be available until September 2021.
Amongst the employers set to benefit from the scheme are those looking to take on new apprentices to join cyber security, data science and digital technology solutions programmes being run by the University of Gloucestershire. These programmes will begin in September 2021.
The University was the first in the country to offer the Cyber Security Degree Apprenticeship in 2019, and the programme has since gone from strength to strength. This level 6 apprenticeship provides learners with the skills to identify and mitigate ever-evolving cyber security threats faced by organisations of every size, and in every sector.
From September, the University will also be adding two new degree apprenticeships to its portfolio: Data Scientist and Digital Technology Solutions Provider.
The Data Scientist Degree Apprenticeship will offer organisations the skills they need to understand vast and diverse datasets, enabling more effective organisational decision-making. The introduction of this programme reflects market trends that are seeing businesses of all kinds move away from being bricks and mortar operations, instead becoming online entities.
Similarly, the addition of the new Digital Technology Solutions Provider Degree Apprenticeship – DTSP – also reflects this trend. Whilst underpinned by one apprenticeship standard, DTSP actually offers three distinct products for employers – there are programmes aimed at Software Engineers, Data Analysts and Network Engineers.
In order to ensure that it is not just larger employers set to benefit from apprenticeships, the Government has also announced the rollout of ‘flexi-job apprenticeships,’ where learners are employed by an agency and undertake a number of different jobs in order to obtain the skills required as part of their apprenticeship programme.