Economy Minister Ken Skates has announced that businesses in Wales will be able to claim up to £3,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25.
The £3,000 incentive, aimed at helping Wales to recover from impact of COVID-19, will be available to businesses that are employing a young apprentice for at least 30 hours per week.
Welsh businesses could also receive £1,500 for each new under 25 year old apprentice they employ for less than 30 hours a week.
For workers aged 25 and over, businesses can access £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire on a 30 hour or more contract, and a £1,000 incentive for apprentices working less than 30 hours.
Payments will be restricted to ten learners per business.
Welsh Government incentives will help to ensure crucial employment opportunities for apprentices in Wales, while supporting businesses to hire, train and develop new staff.
Today’s announcement is part of the Welsh Government’s £40 million proactive jobs and skills package to support businesses and workers in recovering from the economic impacts of coronavirus. It will also be important in responding to the effects of the UK leaving the EU.
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“Coronavirus and the impending threat of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal have placed incredible pressures and challenges on our economy, our companies and the livelihoods of our people.
“I made a firm commitment to support our businesses and workers through these incredibly difficult times and today’s announcement is clear proof of that.
“Apprentices make a huge contribution to our employers and give people a crucial opportunity to learn new skills, gain valuable experience and enhance their knowledge. They also help develop confidence which is an important factor not just in the workplace, but in our daily lives.
“Our incentives will be important in helping Welsh businesses give an apprentice an opportunity to shine.”
John Carey, senior operations manager at RWE said:
“Our apprentices have become an integral part of the community at RWE, genuinely breathing new life and enthusiasm into the company with their energy and passion for learning.
“The Apprenticeship Programme really boosts and inspires our technicians and senior staff, we’ve found that they actually learn from each other about new techniques as well as the tried and tested methods we’re used to.
“Our commitment to apprentices over the last few years has grown so substantially that we’re now looking to expand our mentor programme fivefold, we’ve even recruited a dedicated apprenticeship manager who will oversee the development and expansion of the programme at RWE.”
Welsh Government is also making dedicated funding available for disabled people and for workers who lost a previous apprenticeship position because of coronavirus.
As part of today’s news, the Minister also revealed that the Welsh Government is launching a bespoke Apprenticeship Vacancy Service so people can easily access details about the apprenticeship opportunities available to them.
The service will be available to all employers and learners and is aimed at enhancing and strengthening Wales’ Apprenticeship Programme.
Businesses will be able to advertise and manage their apprenticeship opportunities through the service to help support their recruitment.
The Minister added:
“We want to ensure businesses and apprentices can access opportunities and information quickly and simply. The Apprenticeship Vacancy Service will do exactly that.
“Along with the employment incentives we are offering, this service demonstrates our commitment to supporting apprenticeships in Wales and helping employers and learners get ahead.”
For more information visit Business Wales.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.