NELSON and Colne College Group has unveiled a new incentive scheme for local employers to take on apprentices.

The group, which also include Accrington and Rossendale College, is offering £2,000 to employers who take on apprentices aged 16-24, while those hiring apprentices over the age of 25 will receive £1,500.

Claims can be made for apprentices hired from August 1 2020, while the scheme will end on January 31.

The college group’s director of apprenticeships and training Barbara Livesey said: “We understand that the pandemic has been an extremely challenging time for employers. We believe, now, more than ever, that apprentices will play a vital role in the recovery of the local and national economy following the Covid-19 outbreak.

“This incentive to employers is a really a fantastic opportunity, and our team will make sure to work with employers to talent match an Apprentice to their business needs – advertising the vacancy and selecting and coaching the right candidate for the job.

“We support businesses across a wide range of sectors, with many reaping the rewards of Apprenticeships.

“Through Apprenticeships, employers gain highly-skilled and motivated employees who are able to deliver impact, and a return on investment against their current and future skills needs.”

Employers will need to make claims through the college group’s apprenticeship service, with members of the apprenticeship and training team will be on hand to support them through the process.

To make a successful incentive claim, the apprentice must be a new employee to the business, have a contract of employment start date between August 1 2020 and January 31 2021, and must not have been employed by the employer within the six months prior to the contract start date.

There is no limit on the number of incentive payments that an employer can claim for provided each apprentice meets the criteria.

The payment will be made directly to employers in two equal instalments, where the Apprentice is still in learning at day 90 and at day 365.

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