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COVID 19 – Employer/Apprentice Information

Page reviewed; 30th October 2020

For the latest college-wide updates please see our news page or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Our assessors are recommencing business visits to carry out Health & Safety checks and apprentice reviews. All campuses are open to students, students should ensure they understand what is expected of them when attending campus and follow the guidelines put in place to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19, more information can be found here; https://www.blc.ac.uk/covid-19-guidance/

 

APPRENTICESHIP INCENTIVE PAYMENTS

The Government has announced extra incentive payments for businesses who hire an apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021.

Key information;

  • This incentive is for new apprentices who have not previously worked for your business in the previous 6 months
  • The apprentice must be signed-up between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021
  • For 16-24-year-old apprentices, the incentive is £2,000
  • For 25 and over apprentices the incentive is £1,500
  • The incentive is claimed by the business via the online digital account service, if you have not used this service before we can help you with accessing it
  • There is no limit to the number of apprentices you hire but you must ensure you have the capacity for them
  • This incentive is in addition to the existing apprentice employer grant of £1,000 for 16-18-year-old apprentices or apprentices 19-24 years old with an Education Health & Care plan

The grant is also available to businesses that employ an apprentice who has been made redundant from their apprenticeship.

Please note that the kickstart wage rebate does not apply to apprentices.

Small employer waiver

In some situations employers are not required to contribute the 5% co-investment; instead, the government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals up to the funding band maximum. This waiver applies to employers with fewer than 50 people working for them are able to train either;

  • An apprentice aged 16-18
  • Apprentices aged 19-24 who have previously been in care or who have a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan.

For more information about any aspect of apprenticeships or if you are ready to hire and would like to advertise please email feapprenticeships@blc.ac.uk and one of our apprenticeships team will respond as soon as possible.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This is a new scheme whereby you can claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Apprentice employees are included within this scheme, please see the below extract.

For more information about the scheme please follow this link; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme 

Extract;
If you employ apprentices

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst on furlough.

However, you must pay your Apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage/National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage as appropriate for all the time they spend training. This means that for time spent training you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. This scheme cannot be accessed for apprenticeships however you can progress participants onto an apprenticeship at the end of their placement if you so wish, you should continue paying the same wage (or more) if you choose to do this.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements however Buxton & Leek College is acting as a Kickstart Gateway whereby we partner with the business to act as an intermediary, this allows small and medium enterprises who cannot offer 30 or more placements to access the kickstart scheme. For more information or to register your interest in working with us to access the scheme please email feapprenticeships@blc.ac.uk.

Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

Helpful articles

Business Matters: Set your businesses on the road to recovery following Covid-19 – Click Here

Apprentice information

 

Please ensure you are clearly communicating with your employer and assessor of your current circumstances such as; isolating, showing symptoms of covid etc.

redundancy
BLC are here to support you if you have been or are at risk of being made redundant, there is also a new National Apprenticeship Support Service the helpdesk phone number to access this is 0800 015 0400.
Apprentices can also complete this form to access information about employers offering placements to redundant or at-risk of redundancy apprentices.
Apprenticeship funding and completing your apprenticeship

There are qualifying criteria that you must meet in order to continue with your apprenticeship when you have lost your placement or been made redundant, please see below for more information you can also discuss with your assessor.

(ESFA; Education & Skills Funding Agency)

Apprentice circumstances:

You are within 6 months of the final day of training.

Funding

100% ESFA of the remaining costs.

Within this 6-month period:

  • If you find a new employer, the new employer will assume any outstanding liabilities and benefits from that point. Note; some employers they may be eligible for full government funding dependant on circumstances.
  • If you take a job that is not related to your apprenticeship, the ESFA funding will still apply and you will be able to complete your apprenticeship.

Apprentice circumstances:

You are between 6 months and 12 months of the final day of training.

Funding:

ESFA funding will be available for a maximum of 12 weeks.

Within this 12-week period:

  • If you find a new employer where you can complete your apprenticeship, the new employer assumes outstanding liabilities and benefits from that point. Note; some employers may be eligible for full government funding dependant on circumstances.
  • If you take a job that is not related to your apprenticeship, ESFA funding will remain in place for up to 12 weeks.
  • If a new employer is not found within 12 weeks, you will be withdrawn from the programme but you can return to the same apprenticeship at a later date, without the need to satisfy the 12-month minimum duration rule. Meaning you can pick up where you left the apprenticeship.

Apprentice circumstances:

If you are more than 12 months away from the final day of training.

Funding:

ESFA funding will be available for a maximum of 12 weeks.

Within this 12-week period:

  • If you find a new employer where you can complete your apprenticeship, the new employer assumes outstanding liabilities and benefits from that point. Note; some employers may be eligible for full government funding dependant on circumstances.
  • If you take a job that is not related to your apprenticeship, the ESFA will continue to fund for up to 12 weeks.
  • If a new employer is not found within 12 weeks, you will be withdrawn from the programme. You can return at a later date to complete your apprenticeship but you would need to be on programme for a minimum of 12 months.

Apprentices aged 19 or over are able to claim Universal Credit benefits provided your apprenticeship training is 16 hours or less per week. Some under 19 apprentices maybe be eligible for Universal Credit in special circumstances, find out more here; https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

For more information on any aspects of your apprenticeship please email feapprenticeships@blc.ac.uk 

Please direct all enquiries to your assessor in the first instance, if you are unable to contact them for any reason please email feapprenticeships@blc.ac.uk If you require a call back please ensure to include a phone number.