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Apprenticeships

Home / Support / Advice / Human Resources / Apprenticeships

Here at the Chamber we fully support the apprenticeship scheme having successfully employed an apprentices since August 2011. 

The Youth Contract is a package of support worth almost £1 billion to help young unemployed people to prepare for work and find a job. Over three years from April 2012 the Youth Contract will provide nearly half a million new opportunities for young people and will enhance the get Britain working measures with an increased focus on young people.


The key elements are:

  • 160,000 wage incentives worth up to £2,275 each for employers who recruit an 18 to 24 year old through the Work Programme
  • An extra 250,000 Work Experience (available across Great Britain) or sector-based work academy places (available in England and Scotland)
  • A further 20,000 Apprenticeship Grants for Employers, to encourage small and medium employers to recruit their first 16 to 24 year old apprentice, taking the total number to 40,000 (in England only)

What the Youth Contract means for you as an employer

Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (England)

Apprenticeships are paid jobs with training designed by employers themselves. There are already over 200 Apprenticeship job roles, with more being developed all the time. Apprenticeships can get young people started on a promising career and bring higher lifetime earnings. Youth Contract introduces an extra 20,000 Apprenticeship Grants for Employers worth £1,500 each for employers (in England only) to take on young people as apprentices. National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and its website will provide more information and guide you through the steps of setting up an Apprenticeship. 

Wage Incentive

You are able to take advantage of 160,000 wage incentives. These are worth up to £2,275 each where you employ an 18 to 24 year old from the Work Programme for at least 26 weeks (in Great Britain). A young person will still need to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage.

The wage incentive is only available when you employ someone from 16 hours or more per week. There is a part-time rate (£1,137.50) between 16 and 29 hours and a full-time rate (£2,275) for 30 hours or more.

If you are interested in employing an 18 to 24 year old from the Work Programme with support from a wage incentive, you should register your interest with your local Work Programme Providers. Details can be found under ‘Useful Information’.

Work Experience

By offering a Work Experience placement you will give a young unemployed person the chance to gain valuable voluntary work experience, improve their CV and skills. Work Experience also provides young unemployed people with a new potential route onto an Apprenticeship.

If you’re interested in offering Work Experience places see work experience guide for more information.

Sector-based work academies

Extra sector-based work academy places will be available in England and Scotland over the next three years. Sector-based work academies are designed to meet your immediate and future recruitment needs, as well as to help you recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow your business.  They are made up of three components:

  • Pre-employment training
  • Work Experience placements
  • Guaranteed job interview

For more information please contact the Membership Team

goodbusiness@hwchamber.co.uk    01905 673611