County expands grant scheme to boost apprenticeships
MORE grants of £2,500 are to be made available to businesses to help them take on apprentices.
The cash is being stumped up by Derbyshire County Council, which is trying to create 1,000 apprenticeship positions – 500 in its own workforce and 500 by giving grants to other businesses.
The authority has joined forces with the National Apprenticeship Service to extend its Derbyshire Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) scheme, after the original 200 grants of £2,500 were snapped up within six months.
The link has created another 300 grants of £2,500.
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The money was initially for ages 16 to 18 and for businesses with less than 250 employees but, now, following feedback from businesses, it has been expanded to allow grant applications for young people aged 16 to 24 and for business with up to 1,000 employees.
Councillor Kevin Parkinson, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Our Derbyshire Apprenticeship Grant for Employers has been a huge success – supporting young people into a career and helping our smaller companies with future skills through a new apprentice.
"Grants were always intended to be flexible and offer support where it will have greatest impact and we've listened to businesses to adapt the scheme.
"Young people gain valuable experience and learning through apprenticeships and our grants give them an opportunity they might not otherwise get.
"We're keen that our investment again benefits all districts of the county through apprenticeships, including for young people with disabilities."
For information on how to apply for funding, contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600.