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Is your business making the most of training opportunities?

Is your business making the most of training opportunities?

Is your business making the most of training opportunities

For many businesses, it can be a bit of a minefield navigating your options around taking on apprentices, trainees or work experience placements. But these can be really enriching experiences for both the person involved in the work-based learning and your company. In an effort to boost the economy and get people back into work following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government have created a number of incentives for employers through the Plan for Jobs skills and employment programmes. These include Kickstart, Restart, T-Levels, traineeships, Skills Bootcamps and much more. But how do you decide what the best options are for your business?

Apprenticeships are the most popular and well-known example of work-based learning. They combine practical on-the-job skills training with sustained off-the-job learning, available from entry level to master’s degree-equivalent. 7 in 10 of apprenticeships are delivered by Independent Training Providers (ITPs) all across the country, and in every sector. ITPs have a great track record of working with employers and tailoring services according to their needs

Apprenticeships can be a great option for your business, whether you are hiring someone new or looking to upskill an existing employee. Young people who have started their careers as an apprentice tend to be more invested in an organisation and wish to stay longer-term. You will need to pay your apprentice at least £4.30 per hour (the Apprentice National Minimum Wage), however most employers tend to pay above this rate and there are Government incentives of £3000 per new hire apprentice. This was recently extended until the end of January 2022. The extension is welcome, as the scheme has already created over 101,000 new apprenticeships- 76% of whom are young people- and supported lots of businesses.

Other options for your business which come with time-limited cash incentives are T-Levels and traineeships. T Levels are a new, 2-year qualification for 16-to-19-year-olds, equivalent to 3 A levels. At the heart of the qualification is a 45-day industry placement, that will give you early access to young talent in your industry. The Government will pay your company £1000 for every T Level student you host on an industry placement. However, there are caveats. The incentives are due to come to an end in July 2022. Also, it is a requirement to host the industry placement in-person, which is perhaps not feasible if your business is home-based and involves remote working. Some flexibility to this rule would no doubt be welcome in certain sectors that intend to keep this style of working well beyond the pandemic.

Traineeships could also be a great option for your business. A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement for young people aged 16-24-years-old. Like T Levels, there is a £1000 incentive per traineeship for your business, and you can claim for up to 10 placements. In turn, you will need to be able to offer at least 70 hours of safe, meaningful, and high-quality work experience.

There are other options out there too. So, if you are thinking how to increase your business capacity and productivity, boost the local economy and help support young people on their career journeys- why not get paid to do it? AELP and our members can certainly offer any support and guidance that you may need.

Rebecca Durber is Director of Public Affairs at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP). She leads AELP’s government relations, communications, and stakeholder engagement activity.

AELP are a national membership organisation which represents around 800 providers of apprenticeships, traineeships and programmes for the unemployed. Their members support many thousands of residents and businesses of all sizes across England. For more information, please visit



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