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MP urges businesses - take on an apprentice and earn £1,500 grant

December 19, 2014 11:57 AM

Tim at GilkesSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has urged local businesses who have not taken on an apprentice in the last year, to look again at a scheme which could see them be eligible to receive a £1,500 grant to take on an apprentice.

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 to 24 year olds (AGE 16 to 24) aims to support businesses, who would not otherwise be in a position to do so, to recruit individuals aged 16 to 24 into an Apprenticeship programme.

Under the current eligibility rules, the grant will continue to operate for the rest of the 2014/15 financial year and additional funding has been approved to support additional demand within this period. This will be used for apprentices with start dates up to 31 December 2014.

A new AGE 16 to 24 programme will begin from January 2015 focussing on small businesses (those with fewer than 50 employees). Under the new eligibility rules, employers will be able to apply for a maximum of five grants each worth £1,500. This grant follows on from the announcement in the Autumn Statement that the Government is ending employer National Insurance contributions for all apprentices under 25. The tax change will save businesses over £1,000 a year when they employ an apprentice earning £16,000 and boost apprenticeship opportunities across all sectors in the UK.

Figures released in early December by the Skills Funding Agency and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills for the full year 2013/14 show that in Westmorland & Lonsdale we have seen a further increase in apprenticeships. 2,980 apprenticeships have now been created since 2010. In 2013/14 5,550 apprenticeships were created across Cumbria.

Tim said: "Apprenticeships are incredibly important and I am urging businesses who haven't taken on apprentice so far to look at taking one on now. Businesses can earn a £1,500 grant plus other changes to National Insurance mean that there has never been a better time to take on an apprentice."