Vocational training provider Lifetime has welcomed new reforms to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) that will open the scheme to companies with up to 1,000 staff, including those in the hospitality sector.
The changes to the scheme will enable more young people to apply for hospitality jobs, according to Lifetime, which provides a range of apprenticeships for the hospitality sector.
The changes to the scheme, which offers £1,500 grants to employers of apprentices, will broaden the scope of apprenticeships in the sector for businesses that had previously been unable to apply and entice more young people into hospitality jobs.
As part of the changes, employers will receive the full amount of £1,500 13 weeks after the start of the apprenticeship, the number of claimable grants for a single employer will increase from three to 10, and the employer will be eligible for AGE funding if it has not attended an apprenticeship in the last 12 months (compared to the previous three years).
"The changes also mean that a company can receive grants for employing a greater number of apprentices, up to 10 aged 16 to 24, which is a positive development in terms of addressing the challenge of high youth unemployment," said chief executive at Lifetime, Alex Khan.
Lifetime is one of the training providers administering the scheme on behalf of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).
Khan added: "NAS has enabled a number of smaller organisations to consider using apprenticeships for the first time. Now that it is being opened up to mid-sized businesses, it will expand the number of employers that are able to participate in the AGE scheme. We are confident this will help more young people get the training they need to develop career skills in hospitality."
Although the scheme will be open to mid-sized businesses with up to 1,000 employees, at least 50% of the grants (20,000 of the 40,000 grants available) will still be targeted at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) employing no more than 250 employees.
Lifetime calls on hospitality to use apprenticeships to help young out of unemployment
By Matilde Casaglia
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