INCENTIVES to help businesses in Wales recruit apprentices have been extended until 2022.
The apprenticeship incentive scheme for employers is part of the Welsh Government’s pledge against Covid to help businesses and workers recover from the impacts of the coronavirus.
The incentives have already seen more than 5,500 new apprentices hired since August 2020 – they were due to end on September 30 (2021), but will now continue until February 28, 2022.
Under the scheme, companies can claim up to £ 4,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is available for companies that employ a young apprentice for at least 30 hours per week.
Welsh businesses could also receive £ 2,000 for each new apprentice under the age of 25 they employ less than 30 hours per week.
For workers aged 25 and over, companies can access £ 2,000 for each new apprentice they hire with a contract of 30 hours or more, and a £ 1,000 incentive for apprentices working under 30 time.
Payments are limited to 10 learners per company. Dedicated funding is also available for the recruitment of people with disabilities.
A total of £ 18.7million has been allocated to support the program in 2021-2022.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh government has provided crucial support to businesses and workers throughout the pandemic and this announcement builds more on that.
“We have recognized the particular economic impact of covid on people under 25 and we are already seeing the positive impact of the employer incentive program for this age group, as well as others.
“I want this to continue alongside our ambitious Youth Guarantee. The Welsh government is determined there will be no lost generation in Wales due to the pandemic.
“Apprenticeship can help sustain, motivate and diversify a workforce – by providing people with the opportunity to acquire high-quality work skills. They are also essential to our ambitious post-covid economic recovery plans.
“This is why we are committed to creating another 125,000 apprenticeship places for all ages over the next five years.
“We are a small country, but we have big ambitions, and our aim is to create a culture in Wales where recruiting apprentices becomes the norm for employers.”
The Welsh Government’s ‘We are in your corner’ campaign encourages businesses in Wales to take advantage of recruitment and skills support for new and existing employees through the Skills Portal for Business.
For more information visit the Business Wales Skills Gateway.
The Wales Apprenticeship Program is funded by the Welsh government with support from the European Social Fund.