If your business is struggling to recruit, offering an apprenticeship or traineeship scheme might be the answer and could make someone’s New Year!

Part of the government’s Plan for Jobs to help the UK economy recover from the covid pandemic includes support for employers to take on trainees.

There are different schemes available:

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme, which has recently been extended to March 2022, aims to create 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements are aimed at supporting the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find permanent work after completing the scheme.

For each Kickstart job, the government will cover the cost of 25 hours a week at the relevant National Minimum Wage in addition to pension and National Insurance contributions for a period of 6 month. Employers will also receive £1,500 per placement to cover set-up costs and provide wraparound support for the young person.

Traineeship scheme

Traineeships are skills development programme for people of all ages that includes a work experience placement and gets people ready for employment or an apprenticeship.

Traineeships can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year and may include individual support in various methods of securing employment.

Employers who provide opportunities through a registered traineeship can use the scheme to recruit new talent into the business or help develop the skills of exiting employees. A business can also benefit from an employer incentive of £1,000 when a work experience placement of over 70 hours has been completed. This incentive can be claimed for up to 10 learners per region and employers can decide how to use the money.

Apprenticeship scheme

Apprenticeships employ people to do a real job while studying for a formal qualification – usually for one day a week either at a college or training centre. By the end of an apprenticeship, most people have gained the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen career.

There are two ways of accessing government funding to support an apprenticeship.

If an organisation’s wage bill is £3 million per annum or more, the organisation will pay a levy of 0.5% of the wage bill. Levy paying employers get a £15,000 allowance per annum to offset against the amount they have to pay.

If an organisation’s wage bill is under £3 million, you don’t have to pay the levy. Instead, the employer agrees a payment schedule with a registered training provider and pays 5% towards the cost of the apprenticeship training to them directly. The government will pay the remaining 95%.

At Stephenson Smart we believe in nurturing talent within our organisation and have an active apprenticeship scheme. We currently have 24 trainees working across our six offices.

One of our youngest trainees is Bethany Little, who is based at our King’s Lynn office.

Bethany came to Stephenson Smart straight from high school to embark on her accountancy career.

“I came for a week’s work experience while I was at school and really enjoyed it. I am now studying for a joint ACA/CTA qualification which will mean that I will not only be a chartered accountant but also a chartered tax advisor at the end of it.”

One of our newest trainees is Deborah Robinson, who is based at our March office.

Deborah, who grew up in Stevenage, moved over to train in accounting after a successful career in the equestrian industry running a riding school. Deborah said:

“I came to a bit of a crossroads and thought it would be good to try something else and after spending so long working outside an office with a roof over my head seemed quite appealing! I’m really enjoying it and everyone has been lovely and supportive, so I’m looking forward to learning and progressing.”

After successfully completing her AAT qualification, Deborah has now started the next stage of her study, ACA qualifications through the apprenticeship route.

Chris Goad, partner at Stephenson Smart’s March and Wisbech offices, commented:

“We have always had a strong apprenticeship scheme at Stephenson Smart and find great rewards in hiring new talent and nurturing them to become accounting professionals.”

“If your business, like many others, is struggling to recruit, offering a traineeship or apprenticeship scheme might be the answer.”



Bethany Little: Part of Stephenson Smart Apprenticeship Scheme

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