Employers in Greater Manchester receive higher apprenticeship boost

Employers in Greater Manchester are being offered a grant of £2,500 to help them take apprentices to the next level.

From January, the rules of the snappily titled “Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Grant for Employers” have been adjusted so that employers can access grants not just for new recruits but also for apprentices who progress to a higher (undergraduate or degree level) apprenticeship.

In order to be eligible, the apprentice must progress within 12 months of completing their first apprenticeship and the employer must also meet some basic criteria (see below).

The change is great news for small and medium sized employers who have apprentices who have recently completed a first apprenticeship and are now ready to take on more responsibility and learn new skills.

In many cases, a young person’s first apprenticeship will be in a non-specialist area such as administration or customer service where they learn a broad range of business skills. As they become more experienced, employers often want their apprentices to develop more specialist knowledge, which is where higher apprenticeships come in.

At Damar, we already offer a range of higher apprenticeships in accountancy, legal services, administration, management and the digital and creative industries. These generally take between 18 months and three years to complete and apprentices gain valuable, sector specific qualifications accredited by industry bodies such as The Association of Accounting Technicians and The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

This new grant means that, in most cases, there is no net cost to the employer or the student for the higher apprenticeship programme. Given that the higher apprenticeship is likely to be equivalent to one or two years of a university degree, this is fantastic value.

The full eligibility rules are set out here. In brief however:

  • The apprentice’s workplace must be in Greater Manchester
  • The employer must have fewer than 250 employees
  • The apprentice must be aged under 25

Funding is limited though and apprentices need to be enrolled by 31st March 2016.

For employers who haven’t had an apprentice in the last 12 months, grants are also available where they recruit up to three further apprentices. We offer a free recruitment service to make finding your new apprentice straightforward.

For more information on the GM AGE Grant or apprenticeships in general, please give us a call on 0161 480 8171.

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