A leading apprenticeship provider is urging employers to take advantage of new government incentives as it continues to successfully deliver assessments for existing trainees.
WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) is the largest apprenticeship training provider in the region, training over 2,500 apprentices each year and working with more than 1,100 employers annually.
All employers that hire an apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021, will be entitled to government incentive payments of £2,000 for apprentices aged between 16 and 24 and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over.
The incentives are in addition to the £1,000 incentive already in place for those hiring 16 to 18-year-old apprenticeships.
WCG has been delivering learning to apprentices across all sectors during lock-down through remote delivery and virtual one-to-one sessions.
The college group is now completing end point assessments for all apprentices and for where these aren’t able to be completed remotely, the college has opened facilities specially to complete training.
Apprentices have been welcomed at the colleges at Rugby, Moreton Morrell, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick Trident, Evesham and Pershore.
The trainees have ranged from engineering to equine and in some cases live video has been set-up to allow assessors to complete the end point assessments.
Mark Eden, Director of Work-Based Learning at WCG, said: “The new incentive scheme introduced by the government means that there is no better time to look at taking on a new apprentice.
“In times of financial difficulty, apprentices are a cost-effective way of supporting your workforce and can provide huge return on investment in the long-term.
“The last few months have been unprecedented for education and training delivery, however all of our staff, apprentices and employers have risen to the challenge to ensure no drop off in delivery.
“Even if apprentices have been furloughed by their employer we have continued their training and utilised their time in the best way possible – which has been well received by employers, who have received regular contact from our team.
“The difficulties have come in keeping apprentices up to speed on practical elements, but we have been inviting them in to complete these assessments or in some cases been able to carry them out remotely by video call.
“The small groups we have had in at college sites have worked well, particularly in areas such as engineering where the practical assessment is crucial to their development.
“We have been successfully progressing apprentices through their assessments and the feedback we have received from assessors so far has been very positive.
“As a training provider we are ready to welcome the next cohort of apprentices and will continue to support employers regarding the requirements for their business.”
WCG offers a wide range of apprenticeships in a variety of industries. For more information visit www.wcg.ac.uk/apprenticeships