Coronavirus: Apprenticeship Recovery Package

News article

Financial support for local businesses to help the apprenticeship system respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has developed an Apprenticeship Recovery Package for Northern Ireland that will channel financial support to local businesses to help the apprenticeship system respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Apprenticeship Recovery Package includes short term interventions that are targeted to reduce significant longer-term economic impacts. These interventions will reduce unemployment and ensure that employers continue to have access to people with the skills and qualifications needed to maintain productivity, to grow their businesses and to assist in closing the skills gap, ensuring that more people have a pathway to better-paying jobs.

There are two elements to the package:

Apprenticeship Return, Retain and Result Scheme

As an employer, you may have had to furlough an apprentice under the terms of the UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. DfE will provide incentive payments to help you return your apprentice(s) from furlough, retain them and for successful completion of their apprenticeship.

The total amount payable under the scheme will be a maximum of £3,700 per apprentice with distribution as follows:

  • Return - £500 per returned furloughed apprentice payable for the first full month of paid apprenticeship between 1 November 2020 and 31 March 2022.
  • Retain – maximum of £2,000 available: £500 per month for up to 4 consecutive months of paid apprenticeship following the 'return' month between 1 December 2020 and 31 March 2022.
  • Result - £1,200 for successful completion of all apprenticeship components by a returned furloughed apprentice

This scheme is open to employers participating in the DfE-funded ApprenticeshipsNI or Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes, who return their furloughed apprentices furloughed via the UK Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to work.

Applications for the return element of this scheme must be submitted by 30 November 2021.

Find out more about the Apprenticeship Return, Retain and Result Scheme, full eligibility terms and how to apply.

Recruitment of New Apprenticeships

The New Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme is available to all employers to support the recruitment of new apprentices. As an employer, you will be eligible for up to £3,000 for each new apprenticeship opportunity created from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022. This bonus will apply to all new apprenticeship opportunities and includes apprentices who have been made redundant:

  • Payment 1 - £2,000 after 90 days retention following start* of new apprenticeship
  • Payment 2 - £1,000 after 200 days retention following start* of a new paid apprenticeship

*For the purposes of this scheme the start of the paid apprenticeship refers to the date agreed with the training contractor as the date that the apprentice begins their ApprenticeshipsNI or Higher Level Apprenticeship programme or, in the case of apprentices who were made redundant and subsequently employed by another employer, the date the apprentice re-joined their programme.

This scheme is open to employers who take on an apprentice participating in the DfE-funded ApprenticeshipsNI or Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes. 

Applications for the 90-day element of this scheme relating to new apprenticeships which started in the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 must be submitted by 30 September 2021.

Find out more about the Recruitment of New Apprenticeships scheme, full eligibility terms and how to apply.

Enquiries

Please note: All queries on this scheme or your application should be made by emailing the Department for the Economy at ApprenticeshipsRecovery@economy-ni.gov.uk.


First published 11 September 2020