The impact of COVID-19 has hit businesses hard but Northampton College is confident a new generation of bright, adaptable and eager to learn workers can help businesses ‘build back better’.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the college remains committed to developing the employees of the future, and it values the support of local employers in giving young people an opportunity to showcase their skills.
With Government support packages available to businesses taking on an apprentice until the end of January, companies are being urged to act now if they want to take advantage of the scheme – with the college able to ‘talent match’ and ensure the right student is given the chance to shine.
Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal of Northampton College, said: “Apprenticeships will be more important than ever in helping businesses to recruit the right people and develop the skills they need to recover and grow – both now and in the long term.
“We are also pleased to confirm that we are continuing our recruitment programme, so it’s not too late to take on an apprentice and complete your workforce ahead of the January 31 deadline.
“Apprentices can start at the best time for you and your business – and there’s no better time for a new start than the dawn of a new year.”
As part of a number of economic packages to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a bonus for employers to hire apprentices. Until the end of January, any employer that hires a new apprentice aged 19 to 24 will receive £2,000, while those that hire new young apprentices aged 16 to 18 will receive an additional £2,000 on top of the £1,000 incentive that is already in place. Employers taking on any apprentice aged 25 and over will be paid £1,500.
Employers must reserve the funds in advance of their apprentice starting, up to the end of January. They can do this through the National Apprenticeship Service. The first payments will be made from January 2021 and will be paid directly into employer’s bank accounts.
Businesses will get the payment in two equal instalments and will be eligible for 50% of the payment 90 days after the apprentice’s start date, and the remaining 50% after the apprentice completes 365 days of their apprenticeship.
The apprentice will need to be in employment and undertaking their apprenticeship at these times as evidenced in the Individualised Learner Record.
Pat Brennan-Barrett added: “With our COVID-safe apprenticeship delivery model, economic packages made available by the Government, and trusted advice and guidance from our experienced Business Centre team, we are here to support local businesses as they gear up for the future.
“During these last few months, our focus has been ensuring that each apprentice remains engaged, and on making arrangements so that each apprentice is well supported and kept safe.
“College timetables have been arranged to include practical lessons as much as possible, with theory lessons being delivered remotely using online platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom.
“Alongside remote sessions, apprentices are supported through employer site visits, where additional evidence is captured and feedback is given to the employer and apprentice on how they are progressing.”
Northampton College’s Business Centre team can talk directly to businesses to help identify requirements and match them with the perfect apprentice.
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