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We set out the advantages and tell you how your business could benefit from government support when hiring apprentices

The subject of hiring apprentices has been in the news recently and their popularity as an alternative to university seems to be growing. Recently the government has launched the kickstart scheme as an additional incentive to take on more apprentices to help counter job losses caused as a result of Coronavirus making this even more attractive to employers.

Under Kickstart scheme the following funding is available:-

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • the associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

I think it’s often thought that apprenticeships are just for big businesses. But, Government numbers suggest that in 2020 more than a quarter of a million workplaces in England took on an apprentice.

An apprentice can benefit any business, whatever its size and there is additional support for SMEs.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is:

  • for people aged 16 and over
  • a combination of work and study
  • lasts for at least a year but can be up to five
  • open to new and current employees, and
  • is paid at least the minimum wage.

How can an apprentice help my business?

The National Apprenticeship Service found that employers with an established apprenticeship programme reported an improvement in productivity of 76%. In addition, 75% said that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.

Apprenticeships can help reduce staff turnover too. Imagine you have an employee who would like to progress or study for a qualification. Instead of leaving the business or being demotivated, you could offer them an apprenticeship so they get the chance to work and study.

Bringing in someone who is eager to learn can inject fresh ideas and new ways of doing things. Recruitment costs can be reduced because the position will be advertised through the apprenticeship service you work with.

I can’t afford to train an apprentice

The funding from the Kickstart sceme is available as already mentioned but if your business has a payroll bill of under £3 million, you’ll pay just 5% of the training and assessment costs anyway. The Government will pay 95% of those costs for the lifetime of the apprenticeship (up to the funding band maximum).

You could also receive an extra £1,200 bursary if you take on a 16 to 19-year-old or if they are in a vulnerable group.

If your payroll bill is over £3 million, some funding is still available and you’ll find more information at www.gov.uk.

How do I hire an apprentice?

If you think an apprenticeship scheme sounds like a great idea, you can contact the National Apprenticeship Service or log onto www.gov.uk for more information.
Need advice on hiring?

At THP we can help with all of your payroll related enquiries. As your business grows, we’ll help you to spot future opportunities and make sure you maximise your profits. Contact us today at one of our offices in CheamWansteadChelmsford and Saffron Walden.

Avatar for Samantha Rowe
About Samantha Rowe

Sam’s title is Operations Manager, but the title itself doesn’t truly convey the variety of what she does for THP.  From administrative tasks to payroll, strategic business planning, and office systems and procedures, Sam’s primary skill lies in multitasking.

Sam’s journey began as an office junior with George Nottage (now merged with THP), and she soon learned skills in payroll and bookkeeping, and then gained experience as a PA to the Directors, and as Administration Manager.

At the moment, Auto Enrolment is an area that has a key focus for Sam, and for THP as a whole.  “The question I’m asked the most by clients just now is, ‘How will auto enrolment affect me?’ And the answer is, no matter how big or small you are, you will absolutely be affected by the Auto Enrolment regulations. I’d encourage you to start thinking about it now, and to look at your payroll software to make sure you’re ready.”

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