Apprenticeship Subsidy Extended

Apprenticeship Subsidy Extended

Apprenticeship Subsidy Extended…… AGAIN!

The latest changes to apprenticeship wage subsidies, enable employers to claim up to £4,000 for each new apprentice they recruit. Great news for both employers and aspiring apprentices!

The Government strategy of getting more people back into work is taking shape. Having previously announced additional funding for employers who took on new apprentices, a scheme which has twice been extended since it was announced last summer, Rishi Sunak threw further support behind the apprenticeship scheme during the Spring Budget.

In his Budget speech he announced that from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021 employers who take on new employees and who enrol them onto an apprenticeship between these two dates, are eligible for £3,000 in wage subsidies, regardless of how old the apprentice is. This funding is in addition to the existing Apprenticeship subsidy which pays employers £1,000 for each 16-18 year old they employ as an apprentice.

Plus, for employers who have fewer than 50 members of staff, they can also gain access to free apprenticeship training.

These incentives will come as a welcome addition to any employers who have been considering taking on more staff and in particular an apprentice.

The current scheme, which ends on 31 March 2021, offered employers £2,000 for any new employee aged between 16-24 years, who enrolled on to an apprenticeship, with a reduced level of £1,500 being paid to any new apprentices aged 25 and over. The latest incentives apply to apprentices of any age, which is great.

Further information about the government’s apprenticeship funding schemes can be found on their website here.

An increase in accounting apprenticeships

Since the Chancellor’s first announcement of the additional apprenticeship subsidy in the summer, we have seen a significant increase in demand from employers looking to maximise this opportunity to take on an accounting apprentice. The same can also be said for potential apprentices contacting us with a view to finding a suitable employer.

We envisage the same is likely to happen over the next couple of months, particularly as the economy starts to improve following the lifting of lockdown restrictions but also due to the next cohort of students deciding what career paths they want to follow when they leave school in the summer. We suggest employers contact us sooner rather than later to begin the process to make sure they have someone suitable in position by the end of March.

Accounting apprenticeships on offer

Accountancy Learning currently offer the following accounting apprenticeships which are set around the Association of Accounting Technician (AAT) qualifications, these are:

  • Accounts/Finance Assistant Apprenticeship (Level 2)
  • Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship (Level 3)
  • Professional Accounting Technician Apprenticeship (Level 4)

We also offer the Accountancy/Taxation Professional Apprenticeship (Level 7) which is affiliated to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and enables successful students to pass their ACA Chartered Accountant exams.

Covid-19 restrictions are not a barrier to training

Initially many employers put a stop to their apprenticeship recruitment activities due to concerns that lockdown and social distancing restrictions would mean their apprentices would not be able to access their training. This was in addition to concerns that they would not be able to supervise them if they were working from home.

However, for students with Accountancy Learning the reduction of face to face training has not been a barrier to training. Prior to the pandemic we were already providing some tutorial support via email and phone calls, as well as some training across our MS Teams platform. We have further enhanced this provision over the recent months to ensure all our apprentices receive as much ‘contact’ time as they need in order to progress with their studies.

We are one of only a handful of training providers who can train accounting apprentices remotely, whilst giving them the same level of training and support they would receive if it were classroom based. Our approach to training and supporting students with their studies has resulted in us being awarded several national training awards over the years, plus we have one of the highest AAT exam pass rates in the country.

With the Prime Minster’s ‘Lockdown Roadmap’ now being implemented, we are hoping to provide face to face training and support sessions across our training centres in Exeter, Taunton, Plymouth and Falmouth from 17 May. Watch this space!

Making apprentices productive ASAP

For firms who are concerned their apprentices could be unproductive whilst working from home, we can help them to become chargeable by completing our innovative bookkeeping course ‘The Balancing Act’.

Using a combination of online study and printed manuals we can teach them how to complete a set of accounts in as little as 5 – 10 working days. Many firms are using this training course as part of their induction or probation processes, as it provides an excellent way to quickly see whether the new apprentice has what it takes to become an accountant or not.

At only £180+VAT The Balancing Act is one of the most cost effective ways to train staff on the principles of bookkeeping, teaching them how to put together a set of accounts. It works equally as well with new joiners and school leavers and also staff who are changing roles/careers.

The extension of the Apprenticeship Subsidy scheme is great news for any firms of accountants or finance departments who are considering taking on an apprentice, but just needed that added incentive. The funding, together with our award-winning approach to training and our innovative bookkeeping training course enables employers to take on an apprentice safe in the knowledge that they will have good quality, productive staff as soon as is practicable.

If you’d like to find out more about Apprenticeships and how the new Apprenticeship Subsidy could work for you, please do contact Simon Deane for a chat on 01392 244071 or email him at [email protected].