Grants for firms to take on new apprentices

EASTBOURNE businesses can take advantage of a Government grant to encourage them to take on apprentices.

A £1,500 apprenticeship grant for employers of 16 to 24 year-olds with fewer than 250 employees has been announced by Central Government as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

The grant for 16-24-year-olds is available now until March 2013 for eligible employers which recruit an apprentice aged 16-24 for the first time.

The programme is aimed at helping eligible employers to offer young people employment through the apprenticeship programme, by providing wage grants to assist them in recruiting their first apprentice.

From April this year the grant will be paid directly to eligible employers in two stages - £750 at the eight week stage of the apprenticeship, with the second £750 when the apprentice has completed 12 months of their apprenticeship.

Employers should call Sussex Downs College on 0845 2302 007 to speak to a skills adviser or log onto www.sussexdowns.ac.uk/apprentice to make sure they benefit from the grant which will be on administered on a first come first served basis.

Only employers taking on their first apprentice from February 1 will be eligible for the grant.