Apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan has launched a new online and telephone support service for apprentices who have lost their jobs during the Covid-19 crisis.
The new Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices (ReSSA) allows apprentices to search and apply for other available apprenticeship opportunities across the country and gives them access to local and national services that can provide financial, legal, health and wellbeing support. Employers with apprenticeship opportunities up for grabs are also being urged to sign up to the new services to advertise their vacancies.
The government is encouraging employers to take advantage of the cash incentives designed to create more apprenticeship opportunities, which were announced by the chancellor earlier this month.
As part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, employers are being offered £2,000 for each new apprentice aged under 25 they hire, and £1,500 for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 or over, up to 31 January 2021. This includes taking on an apprentice who has been made redundant.
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Ms Keegan said: “Covid-19 has had a big impact on business and the jobs market, and we know that some apprentices have lost their jobs or are facing redundancy as a result. We are taking unprecedented steps through our Plan for Jobs to protect, support and create jobs, with a clear focus on ensuring people have the right skills to get into work and progress. This includes creating more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities to help get our economy moving.
Coronavirus: Support for apprentices who lose their jobs
“Our new Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices will make sure apprentices who have lost their jobs can get the help and support they need to get back on track and on the path to a new career.”
Association of Employment and Learning Providers managing director Jane Hickie said: “The new helpline is potentially a very helpful step forward in supporting apprentices because sadly we are going to see a lot of them lose their jobs as the furlough scheme unwinds. We also like the new service being put in place whereby an employer can specifically look to hire an apprentice that has been made redundant.
“Apprenticeship training providers are already very active in trying to find new opportunities for the apprentices they have been training but the government could do more in reviewing how its funding arrangements for providers work in making this type of support sustainable over the next 12 months.”