Businesses taking on an apprentice will also get more funding from the government and Skills Development Scotland in direct response to the pandemic.
A variety of steps to support employers and apprentices during the current pandemic have been announced by the Scottish Government.
The new Employer Apprenticeship Grant is part of the Young Person’s Guarantee and is intended to enable more employers through apprenticeships to take on a new Modern Apprentice or Graduate Apprentice, or upskill a current employee.
The support provides £ 5,000 for employers hiring or upskilling a 16- to 24-year-old apprentice and for apprentices up to 29 years of age with a disability, experience of care or cultural background from a black, Asian or minority. For employers who hire or train a person aged 25 and over via an apprenticeship, £ 3,500 is available.
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, said, “We have been hit hard by this pandemic – especially our young people who face fewer opportunities. We need to help this generation who have been so cruelly caught in the eye of the storm of Covid 19.”
We have set up the £ 60 million Young People’s Guarantee to do that. It aims to offer the opportunity for jobs, education or training to anyone aged 16 to 24. We will spend £ 15 million as part of this to help more employers get an apprentice. Businesses want to give young people a shot, but for many, the pandemic’s effects would make it difficult to bear the cost. That’s why, for any new modern apprentice they take on, we will pay employers up to £ 5,000.
Frank Mitchell, Chairman of Skills Development Scotland (SDS), said, “The support of the Scottish Government underlines its commitment to apprenticeships and their vital role in economic recovery.”
“Additional funding for employers to take on apprentices means maintaining vital opportunities for people to work, learn and earn, while ensuring businesses have the critical skills they need.”
Further support is also available to young people through the new Pathway Apprenticeships, which provide training and up-skilling opportunities in industries with long-term prospects. Approximately 1,200 apprenticeships will be eligible for school leavers aged 18 and under in the first step of the program, who may face restricted opportunities due to the effects of Covid-19.
In areas such as Design, Business Skills, Software and Hardware IT, Engineering and Early Years, Pathway Apprenticeships are available and have been created by SDS to support the Young Person Guarantee.
Frank Mitchell added: ‘We know that the economic effects of the pandemic will disproportionately affect young people.
“Pathway Apprenticeships support the future employment prospects of Scotland’s young people and offset the rising youth unemployment caused by the economic impact of Covid-19.”
In the first step of Pathway Apprenticeships, construction is one of seven sectors being sponsored.
“Not only do Pathway Apprenticeships offer the best opportunity to enter a Modern Apprenticeship, with up to three months credited towards progression, but participants also receive industry-tailored training at one of the three colleges that support the construction industry – South Lanarkshire, City of Glasgow and Dundee and Angus – as well as an apprenticeship grant and travel allowance.”Pathway Apprenticeships not only offer the best opportunity to join a Modern Apprenticeship, eligible for progression for up to three months, but participants also undergo industry-specific training at one of the three colleges that support construction.
“Our recent Construction Skills Network report highlights the importance of protecting talent and investing in skills in the year ahead, so we’re delighted to be able to help deliver this fantastic initiative.” Sarah Beale, Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Training Board, added.
With a £ 100 weekly allowance, Pathway Apprenticeships will give unemployed or economically inactive young people up to 26 weeks of training.
In addition to these two programs, apprentices who have been made redundant will be able to get assistance with obtaining qualifications, gratitude for their learning, and encouragement through a new service to take the next step in their career.