The Tees Valley Mayor has launched a new drive to accelerate the number of high quality apprenticeships, following a successful scheme which has helped support over 1,000 apprentices in the last year.
The new scheme will be funded by Tees Valley Combined Authority.
The initiative will in particular support SMEs who create apprenticeships in sectors facing high demand from employers, identified in the Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan, including:
- Advanced Manufacturing;
- Process, chemicals and energy;
- Health and biologics;
- Digital and creative;
- Business and professional services.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, who is also the Combined Authority’s Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “I wholeheartedly welcome this new drive to support apprenticeships.
“The devolution of the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers to the Combined Authority has created significant opportunities for apprenticeships and brought significant benefits for local businesses and this scheme aims to build on that success.
“We are creating more quality apprenticeships for our young people and providing employment and learning opportunities which will boost the economic prosperity of the area.
“By taking responsibility locally we are transforming the apprenticeship programme so that it meets the area’s needs and putting more focus on higher and degree-level apprenticeships that provide practical progression to higher skilled jobs.
“I sincerely hope that Tees Valley businesses will continue to play their part in creating apprenticeship opportunities that the young people of our area so richly deserve.”
The initiative will also offer support to smaller companies taking on apprentices aged 19-24, often for the first time. There will also be a drive to establish high quality, higher and degree level apprenticeships in the priority sectors.
Apprenticeship Support for Employers
Tees Valley Combined Authority supports employers in the Tees Valley local authority areas of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees to create new Apprenticeship opportunities. This support is designed to assist employers who are committed to creating a new opportunity for an apprentice who will start their learning between 1st August 2017 to 31st July 2018.
There are two separate and distinct offers of grant which employers can apply for provided that their apprentice is following a recognised Apprenticeship Standard or Framework and all other eligibility criteria are met.
A grant of £2,500 for small to medium businesses i.e. under 250 employees from priority sectors who employ an apprentice aged 19+ working towards a recognised sector specific qualification from the Apprenticeship Standards or Frameworks.
An initial £500 grant to employers who employ less than 50 employees, create a new apprenticeship and employ an apprentice aged 19-24. In order to encourage high quality and sustainable employment for the apprentice, an additional £500 will be paid if the apprentice continues to be in employment more than 13 months after the date of starting their apprenticeship.
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