The government announced on Wednesday it will provide £1,000 ($1,374) cash support for businesses to help with the cost of providing a traineeship.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said “young people will be vital in the national effort to recover from the pandemic, so I urge businesses to seize this opportunity.”
He added that his “number one priority is to support, protect and create jobs, which is why for the first time ever we’re giving businesses £1,000 to cover the cost of trainee work experience, because we know that traineeships are a proven way to give young people the skills and opportunity they need to be ready for work.”
The cash boost — which is available until 31 July — will help businesses with the cost of providing a work placement for a trainee. This includes providing facilities, uniforms or helping with travel costs.
Businesses will receive the cash for every trainee they take on with up to a maximum of 10 trainees. They can claim the cash incentive for all work placements that have been completed since 1 September.
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The scheme will support young people to “gain the skills and experience they need from the very start, helping them to get a job, an apprenticeship, or pursue further study,” the Department for Education said.
According to the department, recent figures show that 66% of trainees get a job, take up an apprenticeship or go on to further study within six months of completing their programme.
The programmes last between six weeks and 12 months, and focus on developing employability skills, alongside additional English, maths and digital skills, plus a work placement lasting a minimum of 70 hours.
The launch of the scheme follows the announcement in July 2020 by the Sunak, as part of his Plan for Jobs, of an additional £111m investment to support “the largest-ever expansion of traineeships,” the government said.
The cash is in addition to the apprentice scheme announced last year, which offers employers £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and £1,500 for apprentice aged 25 and over.
The government also said its £2bn Kickstart Scheme is creating hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.
The government recently said the scheme has created more than 120,000 jobs for young people since it was launched last September. But figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions have shown that, as of 15 January, there had only been 6,368 applications and just 1,868 new starts.
Sunak told the BBC this was due to coronavirus restrictions: “Obviously lockdowns and restrictions hamper businesses' ability to bring people into work. What we can look forward to as the restrictions ease is more of these young people starting those placements.”
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