Katy Urwin

The additional investment in apprenticeships and traineeships announced as part of the spring budget, which could see organisations benefit from grants of up to £4,000 for taking on a new apprentice, have been welcomed by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC).

In a package of measures designed to help support young people and boost economic recovery after the pandemic, financial incentives to support workplace skills training first introduced last year have been extended and increased. Employers that take on a new apprentice of any age during the six months from 1 April 2021, will benefit from a £3,000 payment in addition to the £1,000 already provided for organisations that take on apprentices aged 16 to 18, or those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

 The budget also made provision to extend its support for high-quality work placements for those aged 16 to 24, known as traineeships, into the next academic year of 2021-22.

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College launched its Community Skills Hub last year in response to the Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ which enables access to all the support that has been announced in the budget this week.

Katy Urwin, Director for Apprenticeships at NWSLC said, “We welcome the provisions of the budget for apprenticeships and traineeships which will make a significant contribution to helping businesses get back on track as the UK starts to recover from the pandemic.

“We were also interested to hear about plans for new ‘flexi-job’ portable apprenticeships expected to be available from July this year which will enable apprentices to complete their qualifications as they move between employers.

“Colleges are at the leading edge of helping to reenergise the UK economy and at NWSLC, we already work with more than 1,000 national, regional, and local businesses across a wide range of sectors including more than 400 organisations operating apprenticeship programmes. During the last year we have developed systems to support apprentices working remotely and can advise on blending this approach with face-to-face training.

“NWSLC is in a great position to make links between organisations that need skills and individuals looking for work, whether they are starting out for the first time, retraining to follow a new direction, or seeking support following redundancy. It is our mission to introduce skilled and work-ready individuals to employers across the region. The announcement of ongoing and reinforced government support makes the opportunity for employers to grow their own talent even more attractive.”

The NWSLC Community Skills Hub helps to signpost individuals and businesses to a range of available support as well as creating links between skilled jobseekers and vacancies that are hard to fill.

  • A 12-week traineeship scheme for those not yet ready, or unable to find, an apprenticeship
  • Bootcamps in software development and coding that will open the doors to vacancies through our dedicated Digital Skills Academy
  • A wide range of apprenticeship opportunities with support to find vacancies and succeed in interviews
  • Pathways to the Kickstart job scheme for those at risk of long-term unemployment
  • Free distance learning short courses leading to Level 2 qualifications that help individuals to improve their skills or retrain
  • Help with English and maths qualifications
  • Ways to prepare for university and routes into higher-level study.

For employers, the Skills Hub will provide:

  • Access to bonuses of up to £4,000 for employing an apprentice
  • Support from an apprenticeship matching service for employers looking to strengthen their workforce
  • Apprenticeship training to upskill existing staff through the Apprenticeship Levy or Levy Transfer Scheme
  • Proven candidates who have successfully achieved college qualifications, completed traineeships, or succeeded in software development bootcamps designed to bring new entrants with digital skills into the job market.

For more information visit our Community Skills Hub or call 0330 058 3000. Employers can email be@nwslc.ac.uk