Cash boost for apprenticeships

Government announces a cash boost for apprenticeships 1 June 2021

Today the Government have announced a cash boost for apprenticeships, with businesses able to claim £3000 for each new apprentice they take on as part of their Plan For Jobs, improving opportunities for young people to stay in and find work as we Build Back Better.

Young people have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, and the Government’s Plan for Jobs is focused on helping them get the skills they need to get the jobs they want.

The Government are going further on our Plan for Jobs by boosting cash incentives for businesses taking on apprentices, meaning that from today employers of all size in England can apply to claim £3,000 for each new apprentice hired.

This added new boost to the Government’s Plan for Jobs is improving opportunities for young people to stay in and find work – putting skills and jobs at the heart of our recovery as we Build Back Better.

Conservative Government

So as business owners we need to consider the true benefit of investing in apprentices.

Are you as a business equipped to train an apprentice? Do you have the skill to select a worthwhile person to invest and develop in the role? Can you skill the individual and see a return?

These are the most common causes of concern when a SME business is tentative about the cost in time and the ultimate payroll increase. Don’t underestimate the possible time investment needed.

So instead, ask yourself this. Do I have £10k to grow for the next four months? If your answer is yes, then you should consider expanding the workforce.

That may seem simplistic and that is because it is. Don’t invest in people if your current team does not give you a substantial (ROI) return on investment. The UK is frequently recorded as having poor employee ROI. There are several reasons for this. Flexible job markets, the ability as employers to only retain good performers. Not least the abundance of workers competing for jobs, but that has just changed. Post-Brexit, we are more likely to need to be sure that the team are delivering.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Unfortunately, too many SME business owners shy away from the HR implications of building the right team. Unrealistically frightened of developing the right person in the precise role.
So should you make the most of today’s announcement, especially if you have waited until now to qualify? The old scheme was quite rightly criticised for being too tricky for most SME businesses to access.

Yes is the answer if you have prepared the ground. But not for the short term financial incentive.

Despite the headline, the cost of an employee is far greater than £3k or even £10k. One other slight concern I would have for many of my clients, recruiting even relatively mature apprentice roles. You often want staff that have had some other employment experience. That way, when you drive the business hard, they are aware that the grass is not invariably greener on the other side! They should recognise that you are a fair employer, entitled to see a proper ROI.

If your still confident to go ahead, consider more than one apprentice. Two often develop better together with a similar level of your teams’ time investment. Further, a little competition between, always delivers better results.

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