SouthSwindon MP Robert Buckland is calling for employers in the town to apply for Government cash incentives to help them take on new apprentices.
Apprenticeships, he believes, are a great way to get ahead in a wide range of exciting industries, and they will play a vital role in delivering the skills employers and the economy need to recover after the coronavirus outbreak.
As part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, employers are being offered £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and £1,500 for each newly-recruited apprentice aged 25 and over.
This includes taking on an apprentice who has been made redundant.
Mr Buckland said: "Since becoming MP for South Swindon in 2010, 10,070 people in the town have started an apprenticeship, and pre-covid, youth unemployment, which is traditionally the hardest area to tackle, was down by 61.3 percent.
“We all knew when we went into lockdown that there would be huge economic cost, but I am confident that we can rebuild our country through the Prime Minister’s New Deal for Britain.
“I am calling on companies in the town to take advantage of the new incentives offered to employers who take on apprentices.
“Apprenticeships give young people the skills they need to succeed in life, in a role they want to make progress in. They give employers the opportunity to mould and shape the workforce and deliver skills with real value in the jobs market.”
The cash boost is designed to support employers in covering the cost of recruiting an apprentice - such as providing facilities or uniforms, helping with travel costs or helping to pay their salary.
Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, said: “We recognise the huge impact coronavirus has had on individuals and businesses up and down the country.
“Through our Plan for Jobs we have taken unprecedented steps to protect, support and create jobs, including driving more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities to help get our economy moving.
“To support this, from today, employers can sign up to receive £2,000 for each new apprentice they take on aged under 25 and £1,500 for those aged 25 and over.
“This offer will help more employers large and small to invest in the skilled workforce they need to help them recover and grow.
“I strongly encourage as many employers as possible to apply now and take advantage of this generous offer, whether it is used to recruit apprentices for the first time or expand their current apprenticeship offer.”
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Apprenticeships play a crucial role in developing the skills people need, particularly young people, as they seek work in these challenging times.
“I urge every employer, big or small, national or local, to sign up to our offer and support apprentices as we continue our economic recovery.
“Our Plan for Jobs will create, support and protect jobs across all regions of the UK and ensure our economy is fit for the future.”
The new cash incentive for employers is on top of the existing £1,000 payment for new 16 to 18-year-old apprentices, and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
Employers who want to take advantage of the offer can apply via https://accounts.manage-apprenticeships.service.gov.uk/