Apprentices and Training: Young People

Department for Education written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Darren Henry Darren Henry Conservative, Broxtowe

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support young people into apprenticeships and training during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We recognise the particular impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on the employment prospects of young people and the disproportionate effect that the economic impact of COVID-19 is likely to have on this group. We have introduced a number of interventions to support young people into employment and training.

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. In the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years, we are making available £2.5 billion for apprenticeships, double that spent in 2010-11. As my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced in the Spending Review, we are extending the incentive payments available to employers taking on new apprentices until the end of this financial year, boosting job creation and supporting employers to invest in skills as the economy recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Employers are now able to claim £2,000 for every new apprentice they hire under the age of 25, and £1,500 for new apprentices aged 25 and over, before 31 March 2021. We are working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to enable Kickstart placements to turn into apprenticeships, where that is the right thing for the employer and the individual.

We are also tripling the scale of traineeships, providing an additional 30,000 places in the 2020/21 academic year, to ensure that more young people have access to high-quality training. To encourage employers to create new traineeship work placements, we have introduced incentive payments of £1,000 per learner for the 2020/21 academic year.

For the 2020/2021 academic year, we are investing £101 million in a brand-new offer to give 18 and 19-year-old school and college leavers the opportunity to study high-value level 2 and 3 courses when there are no employment opportunities available to them.

To help young people understand the options available to them, we have reformed and improved careers advice in schools. Schools are now under a duty to enable providers to speak to pupils about the apprenticeships and technical education qualifications they offer.

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