'Plan for Jobs' skills and employment programmes: Information for Employers

A range of government programmes, some of which offer financial incentives, are available for employers who are considering hiring employees or offering work experience.

Be positive and proactive, plan for 2021

This information is to help employers understand the programmes available from the Government, with guidance and support from System Group, so they can decide which would be best suited to their business.


If your business in England is looking to:

  • Offer someone a skilled job with formal training for at least 12 months

  • Breate a new job for someone looking to retrain or upskill, or who has recently been made redundant

  • Benefit from a recognised, respected programme delivering opportunities nationally and across all industry sectors

  • Develop the talent pool in your business and develop a motivated, skilled, and qualified workforce who can build their careers through apprenticeship progression

Then apprenticeships might be right for your business.

Apprenticeships are jobs which combine practical on-the-job skills training with sustained off-the-job learning, available from entry level to master’s degree-equivalent. Your employee will get training in the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are relevant to their job and you will need to pay them a salary.

Apprentices spend 80% of their time in the workplace and at least 20% undertaking off-the-job training in a setting that suits the needs of your business – this could be with System Group. Training can also be delivered in your place of business.

Potential Benefits to Your Business

  • Many apprentices stay with their employer when they finish their apprenticeship. This can make a sustainable investment in the skills to support your business as the economy recovers

  • Improve your productivity; apprentices are motivated to learn new skills

  • A productive and effective way to grow talent

  • Capitalise on new ideas and a fresh perspective

Financial Incentives Available

  • Available from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021 for newly hired apprentices joining your organisation. £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24 and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25+.

  • You can decide how to spend the incentive to best support the needs of the business and the apprentice. It is in addition to the payments already made to support specific groups of apprentices such 16 to 18-year-olds, those with disabilities, or young people leaving care.

  • An exciting talent planning route for your business could see an apprentice joining your organisation for a Kickstart placement then progressing onto an apprenticeship with you. You would have access to the full range of financial support the government provides for apprenticeships.

Employer Costs

  • Apprentice National Minimum Wage – at least £4.15 per hour, though many employers choose to pay more than this in recognition of the value apprentices bring to their organisation.

  • You may have to contribute 5% of the apprentice’s training and assessment costs – depending on the size of your business and the age of your apprentice. One of our Apprenticeship Specialist will be able to advise you on this.

Kickstart Scheme

If your business is looking to:

  • help young people at risk of long-term unemployment

  • offer 6-month Kickstart Scheme job placements to help them gain valuable work experience

  • test out whether someone’s right for a permanent job or an apprenticeship with you

Then a Kickstart Scheme placement might be right for your business.

The Kickstart Scheme offers six-month work placements, in new jobs created using grant funding from the scheme, for 16 to 24 year olds who are currently out of work claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment. 100% of their time is spent in the workplace with in-work training to help develop transferable skills aimed at increasing their chances of sustained employment.

Potential benefits to your business

  • You can support young people to gain valuable experience and improve their chances of finding work

  • Help a generation of young people affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19

  • Benefit from new ideas, and help your teams gain supervisory experience

  • You can see whether a young person is a good fit for an apprenticeship or a job in your business after their job placement

Financial incentives available

100% of wages are subsidised at National Minimum Wage (or National Living Wage depending on the age of the young person) for up to 25 hours with employer National Insurance and automatic enrolment contributions also fully funded.

Funding of £1,500 is also provided to cover the costs of employability training and on the job start-up costs – these can include but not limited to uniform, safety equipment, IT equipment and other practical materials.

Employer costs

No costs

Sector-Based Work Academy Programme

If your business in England or Scotland is looking to:

  • Recruit staff with the right training and skills from the outset, developed through fully-funded pre-employment training

  • Help someone on out-of-work benefits by offering a work experience placement and a guaranteed interview for a real job

  • Find a flexible programme that can be tailored to meet your recruitment needs

  • Have an easy way to see job candidates in action, and could also identify candidates for an apprenticeship

Then SWAP might be right for your business.

SWAP can be tailored to meet your recruitment needs, including pre-employment training, a work experience placement, and your guarantee of a job interview for participants. They run for up to 6 weeks, with a work experience placement usually at your business and with pre-employment training off site or online.

Potential benefits to your business

  • You can recruit staff with the right training and skills from the outset, developed through fully funded pre-employment training

  • Reduces the risks within the overall process of recruiting new employees

  • An opportunity to work with like-minded businesses together to contribute to wider priorities around diversity and inclusion, or social mobility, in your organisation

  • Work experience placements allow developmental opportunities for existing employees, for example by working on their mentoring, supervisory and coaching skills

Financial incentives available

Government-funded tailored support to meet your recruitment needs.

Employer costs

There is no direct cost, SWAP placements are entirely government-funded.

Contact a specialist at System Group today and we can help navigate the funding landscape and help develop your future workforce: info@system-group.com

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