What does the Chancellor’s summer statement mean for FE, skills, and apprenticeships?

£2billion ‘Kickstart’ scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the introduction of a £2billion fund to provide an incentive of taking on an unemployed young person. The ‘Kickstart’ scheme will target those at risk of long-term unemployment, aimed at ages 16 to 24 who have been on universal credit. The government will fund 100% of the national minimum wage, for a minimum of 25 hours a week for six months, on the caveat that the organisation can prove the role is new.

The scheme has been allocated a budget of £2billion, however, places on the scheme are uncapped. The ‘Kickstart’ scheme will be open for applications from August 2020.

It is worth noting that a young person on the ‘Kickstart’ scheme cannot be an apprentice at the same time.

Employer incentives – Apprenticeships, traineeships & retaining furloughed employees

In the promising announcement regarding further education, the Chancellor announced an array of employer incentives to create, protect and support employment.

New apprenticeship starts

Sunak announced an exciting incentive for employers to hire new apprentices in the following six months. Running from August 2020 to January 2021, any organisations that employs a new young apprentice, aged 16 to 24, will be granted an additional payment of £2,000. Following this, if the apprentice is over 25, the organisation will be paid £1,500.

These payments will be paid in addition to the current incentive the government provides of £1,000, meaning that employers could benefit with incentives of up to £3,000 when hiring a new apprentice.

Increasing traineeships

In Sunak’s announcement, he confirmed plans to treble participation in proven traineeships. The government investment of £111 million into traineeship aims to provide an incentive for employers of £1,000 per trainee.

For participation to be increased widely, eligibility for traineeships will be opened up to those with level 3 qualifications and below.

Job retention, returning from furlough

The furlough scheme will gradually come to an end at the end of October, with the extension on furlough being viewed as unsustainable and unfair, giving people false hope they may be able to return to their previous job. A job retention scheme will be introduced with the hope of retaining staff currently on furlough, businesses will be paid £1,000 for every member of staff returning off furlough – which would cost £9billion if every job furloughed is protected.

Funding for school & college leavers to return to education

Sunak promised £101 million investment for 18 and 19-year olds who are at risk of not being in education, employment, or training (NEET) to study targeted level 2 & 3 courses through 2020 & 2021. The full list of courses and qualifications is yet to be released; however, it is expected to apply for A-level’s including science, technology and core subjects such as English and maths. While additionally alternative qualifications in other sectors such as construction are expected to be included.

For more information on the Chancellor’s summer statement for further education and apprenticeships and to see how Smart Apprentices can help you with your apprenticeship delivery, book a quick 15-minute consultation with Kieran here