To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that traineeships and placements under the Kickstart scheme lead to an opportunity of an apprenticeship.
8 December 2020
The government’s Plan for Jobs was announced in July 2020 and set out several key policy initiatives to support individuals and employers: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/a-plan-for-jobs-2020. This included the introduction of a new £2 billion Kickstart scheme to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. We also announced a £111 million investment to triple the scale of the existing Traineeship programme in the 2020-21 financial year, ensuring more young people have access to high-quality training.
In addition, the government has scaled up support for businesses to enable more people to benefit from training opportunities, and introduced payments for employers taking on new apprentices, with businesses now able to access payments of £2,000 for every new apprentice they hire under the age of 25 and £1,500 for new apprentices over 25 from 1 August 2020 to 31 March 2021. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment we already provide for new 16 to 18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
Traineeships already deliver good outcomes for young people. In the 2017-18 academic year, 66% of learners completing a traineeship had a sustained positive destination, with almost a quarter (24.9%) progressing to an apprenticeship before the end of the 2018-19 academic year: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/further-education-outcome-based-success-measures/2017-18. We will strengthen progression to apprenticeships as a destination through the new sector-specific traineeships we are currently developing with employers. These will act as a direct pipeline to real apprenticeship opportunities, in addition to the engagement activity we are planning to target towards young people, employers, and training providers.
We have already amended our funding rules to ensure that employers supporting a Kickstart individual to begin an apprenticeship can still benefit from the apprenticeship incentive payment.
Together with the Department for Work and Pensions, we will be engaging with employers to encourage them to create new apprenticeship opportunities for the young people on their Kickstart placements. We know that many employers have already expressed an interest in creating apprenticeship placements for existing Kickstart participants, but we want to support more businesses, large and small, to take advantage of the opportunity this scheme represents for investing in their skills needs as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak.