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How to make the most of the Government Apprenticeship initiative and why it’s so important for Aviation

It has been recognised that the aviation industry has suffered from a skills shortage. As more experienced employees retire, there are not enough suitably trained individuals entering the industry for a long term career. It has been estimated that the Aviation industry needs 186,000 new engineers and manufacturers (www.adsadvance.co.uk) – and that was before COVID -19. In the last 6 months alone, there have been 350,000 job losses within Aviation and another 120,000 are in jeopardy before the end of 2020 (www.airlinegeeks.com).

In 2019, this issue was addressed by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, with a plea to the government to take action or risk disastrous consequences down the line. In a speech made at the Royal Aeronautical Society, Baroness Vere addresses this concern and the “dearth of young, skilled engineers.”

She went on to say that “One estimate suggests the country needs another 1.8 million engineers and technicians by 2025, including many tens of thousands of vacancies in UK aerospace. According to a survey half the aerospace workforce is over 45 years old, almost a quarter of staff are over 55 and for the largest employers, almost 20% of staff are eligible to retire; figures which highlight the urgent need to engage students and inspire them to consider a career in aviation.”

With Apprenticeship placements dropping by 47% compared to last year, it is even more important to invest in young people and implement learning opportunities within the Aviation sector. This is where the new Government initiative can offer a lifeline to our industry and the many Aviation businesses in desperate need of new talent, enthusiasm and skills.

The initiative has been set up to support the employers who hire new Apprentices between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021. The Apprentice must be a new joiner, or have been an Apprentice elsewhere but made redundant, and their training must commence during these dates. Levy and Non-levy payers can claim this support and if the business has under 50 staff, requirement for 5% co-investment contribution that non-levy payers make is waivered. Employers get the payment in 2 equal instalments – 50% after the Apprentice completes 90 days of their Apprenticeship and the remaining 50% after the Apprentice completes 365 days. To receive the full payment, the Apprenticeship must stay on program for at least one year.

Key points:
• £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24
• £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over

This payment is different to Apprenticeship levy funds, so employers can spend it on anything to support their organisation’s costs. For example, on uniforms, Apprentice’s travel or their wages. It does not have to be paid back and there is no limit to the amount you can claim, providing you meet the requirements and have enough funds in your levy pot.

This payment in is addition to the existing scheme where employers already receive £1,000 for hiring a 16-18 year old apprentice, or a 19-24 year old with an EHC plan.

It has never been more important, or more financially worthwhile to take on an Apprentice. Let’s help get aviation back on track and invest in our next generation of engineers.
For more information on the scheme please see:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-apprenticeship-funds

To discuss apprenticeships, please contact sarah.roberts@resourcegroup.co.uk

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