Miranda Dobson

Member Article

Apprenticeship grants increased for Thames Valley businesses

Businesses in the Thames Valley LEP will have access to increased numbers of grants after changes have been implemented to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers.

The Local Enterprise Partnership for Berkshire and the Thames Valley has urged companies to take advantage of the 165 available grants, worth £250,000.

Young people between 16 and 24-years old will be targeted for grants made available to businesses who have never previously taken on an apprentice, or have not been able to commit to an apprenticeship scheme in the last year.

Businesses around the Thames Valley will be able to claim grants until March next year, which will allow employers to offer young people the opportunity to enter the workforce with wage grant support and recruitment help.

The Chair of the Education, Employment and Skills Forum, at the Thames Valley and Berkshire LEP, David Knowles-Leak, commented: “With considerable rises in University tuition fees and more competition for graduate level employment, it is essential that this generation does not fall short because of a lack of education and skills, with limited opportunities to learn and grow in real-world environments.”

“We encourage Thames Valley Berkshire businesses to support this programme, apply for the funding and together we can grow the UK’s economy by developing the skills from within.”

Sam Hargreaves, the Managing Director of Gadgets4Everyone is a frequent apprentice employer, and won his regional heat of “Apprentice Employer of the Year”.

He said: “Apprentices are hard working and keen to learn. It took a while to sort the paperwork, but well worth it as they help me grow and develop my business. I would recommend apprentices to all businesses.”

Apprenticeship grants of £1,500 will be provided by the National Apprenticeship Service to employers with up to 1,000 staff who are recruiting 16 to 24-year olds, in addition to training costs of the Apprenticeship framework.

Charlie Roberts, Head of Department, Workforce Development & Enterprise at Bracknell and Wokingham College, commented: “So far our Apprenticeship team has been able to secure the grant for 23 employers with several more in the pipeline.

“It is encouraging that interest is spread across the range of frameworks we offer and we can’t stress enough how simple it is for businesses, no matter how small, to engage with Apprenticeship programmes now that extra funding is available.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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