Networking News

Why there has never been a better time to take on a new apprentice

“We believe in the nobility of work. We believe in the inspiring power of opportunity. We believe in the British people’s fortitude and endurance.”

These were Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s words as the government unveiled their Plan for Jobs 2020, featuring measures that could potentially culminate in costs of up to £30bn as they invest to protect, support, and create new jobs.

A Job Retention Bonus follows the original Retention Scheme as employers are encouraged to return furloughed staff to either full or part-time employment, while an ambitious plan to create new jobs builds on strengthening infrastructure and lowering carbon emissions also featured heavily, with £12.5bn allocated.

Speaking on the plans, Sunak outlined the intended outcome for the country,

“Our plan has a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs. It will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire. To create jobs in every part of our country. To give young people a better start. To give people everywhere the opportunity of a fresh start.”


Rewarding apprentices

With that in mind, newly revised apprenticeship funding offers a generous incentive for businesses to take on an apprentice.

For every apprentice aged 16-24 hired between August 2020 and January 2021, an employer will be awarded £2000. This is in addition to the £1000 that businesses are already entitled to if they employ a 16-18-year-old apprentice. For those over the age of 25, employers will receive £1500 under the new scheme.

Learning and Development Manager, Rachel Longbottom explained that with these incentives in place, there is no better time for members to consider opening their doors to an apprentice.

In partnership with an apprenticeship recruiter, the Learning Network team can support Network members with the training and recruitment process, which means brokers can benefit from this combined expertise while being rewarded for kick-starting someone’s career and boosting their own workforce in time.

“My advice on how to maximise this opportunity would be to partner with the Learning Network and HR consultancy to define your job spec before speaking with your local schools and colleges to advertise it to local school leavers.” Rachel said.

“Many young people may be rethinking their options following on from GCSE/A-Level results and may want to be into work. We can help with apprenticeships.”

A Level 3 Insurance Practitioner qualification can provide an apprentice with the foundation for many entry-level broking roles, but that’s not the only route. The Learning Network are also available to support employers find the right training provider for apprenticeships in a variety of office roles.

As for the financials, employers would pay just 5% of training costs. For Level 3 Insurance Practitioner that’s £350, against the incentive of up to £3000 depending on the age of the apprentice – plus, they have their CII membership paid for whilst on the programme.


Supporting work placements

The opportunities extend beyond apprenticeships, both for employers and those between the ages of 16-24 who are currently claiming universal credit. Businesses will be able to claim 6-months of wages for those they take on as part of a high-quality work placement.

The £2bn fund will cover all of the relevant National Minimum Wage based on 25 hours a week, as well as National Insurance and automatic enrolment contributions.

Rachel notes that rather than thinking “either-or”, the work placement and apprenticeship could work hand in hand.

“Think about traineeships and partnering with your local job centres and recruitment agencies as you can find some great talent from a traineeship. This in turn could lead you to taking them on as an apprentice,” she said.


Next steps

More details on the Government’s Plan for Jobs 2020 can be found by visiting the website.

If you’re a member and you would like to find out more about the support available to you in taking on an apprentice or arranging a work placement, speak to the Learning Network team by emailing

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