It has now been confirmed by Ken Skates, minister for economy, transport and North Wales, that Welsh employers hiring apprentices will become eligible for claiming as much as £3,000 per hire. There are a few important stipulations that must also be properly understood by the employers before claiming their Apprenticeship Employment Incentive.
There is an Age Restriction
In order for the Apprenticeship Employment Incentive to be claimed in its entirety, the hired apprentices must be below the age of 25. Also, the incentive is only valid for new hires and not older recruitments, irrespective of the apprentice’s age at that time. Apprentices over the age of 25 are not forgotten either by the Welsh government, but the maximum claim for recruiting a 25+ apprentice is kept at a lower cap limit of £2,000.
Employers who are willing to make the most of this new policy should visit Employing an Apprentice to find trainees with the right skills, below or above the age of 25. In fact, apprentices should also register themselves with the website, so that they too can be a part of the recruitment process which will soon follow.
Time Limits for Both Age Groups
Aside from the age limits, Ken Skates also laid down certain other stipulations for successfully claiming an apprentice recruitment incentive. For example, if employers recruit apprentices aged less than 25, then the company will be eligible for claiming £3,000, provided that each of their newly recruited apprentices were employed for 30 hours/week or more. Additionally, if a young apprentice is given less than 30 hours of work per week, the employer can still claim the incentive, but it will cap out at £1,500.
In case the company prefers trained and more experienced apprentices who are above the age of 25, they will be able to claim:
- £2,000 per apprentice who is given 30 hours of work at least
- £1,000 per apprentice who is given less than 30 hours of work every week
A point of note is that each business will only be able to claim the incentive for a total of ten recruits and no more. This applies to all apprentice recruitments, irrespective of their age or total work hours per week.
All Incentives will be Paid from the Proactive Jobs and Skills Package
All Apprenticeship Employment Incentives will be paid to eligible businesses from the Proactive Jobs and Skills Package, which is budgeted at £40 million in total. The initiative is meant to encourage and improve the rate of apprentice employment, but includes various other schemes as well. All of the plans, schemes and incentives are designed to funnel in funds, so that the Welsh economy can once again start getting back on its feet post Covid-19 and Brexit.
Praising the importance and contributions of apprentices in modern business, the minister also talked in length about other initiatives that they are taking to improve the recruitment opportunities for them. The Apprenticeship Vacancy Service stands out as a good example of just that, as it is aimed towards further shortening the gap that has recently made its way between apprentices and their potential employers after the pandemic, the lockdowns and Brexit hit the Welsh economy all at once.