The region’s largest apprenticeship training provider is urging businesses to take advantage of the newly extended and expanded Government incentive scheme.
WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) trains more than 2,500 apprentices each year and works with more than 1,100 employers annually.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in the budget that any employer hiring an apprentice will be entitled to a payment of £3,000 – regardless of the apprentices’ age – until September 2021.
This builds on the existing £1,000 incentive payment that the government already provides for new apprentices aged 16 to 18, and those under 25 with an Education Health Care Plan.
These new incentives could see an employer potentially receiving up to £4,000 for hiring a new apprentice.
WCG delivers apprenticeships at six colleges across Warwickshire and Worcestershire and offers more than 50 apprenticeship standards across 12 industry sectors and boasts a 76 per cent overall apprenticeship completion rate, nine per cent above the national average.
Mark Eden, Director of Work-Based Learning at WCG, says the new incentive scheme from Government is very generous and it means there has never been a better time to take on an apprentice.
He said: “The existing incentive scheme was fantastic for businesses and this new increase will make apprenticeships even more appealing to many businesses.
“Apprenticeships are a cost-effective way of supporting your existing workforce and taking on an apprentice brings huge long-term return on investment.
“We welcome the Government’s drive to create more skilled workers and cultivate the workforce of the future, and the college group is perfectly positioned to be able to support this initiative.
“Apprenticeships will be essential in supporting the country’s recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We hope this incentive scheme will encourage more businesses to explore what an apprentices could bring to their business and would urge companies to get in touch with us to see how we can support that process.”
Krishna Parekh, Head of Business Development at WCG, added: “With unemployment at the highest rate it has been for many years and young adults’ career prospects being severely impacted, the new apprenticeship incentive is a great way to support employers with investing in the future of our young people and indeed those who are looking to retrain and change careers.
“Investment in apprenticeships will ensure we continue to fill the huge skills gap, support the economy and increase productivity.”