Businesses have just two months to access up to £2,000 to help with the cost of taking on a new apprentice.

The government apprenticeship incentive was launched in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Summer Statement to help education-leavers in the pandemic. It was due to end in January but has now been extended until March 31.

The incentive pays £2,000 per apprentice aged 16-24, or £1,500 for the 25s and over.

The sum doesn’t have to be paid back and is extra to a £1,000 apprenticeship grant employers receive.

The Source Skills Academy, a training specialist with not-for-profit charitable status, is pulling out the stops to get apprenticeships over the line before the deadline.

“Since the spring lockdown we have placed more than 100 apprentices with local businesses who needed to expand. Many said the £2,000 incentive meant they could go ahead and offer a young person a new start,” said Kerry Cook, business development officer.

“Our team helps employers access the grants and sources quality candidates for them. We have a talent pool of candidates trained and apprenticeship-ready.”

Paid in two instalments – 50 per cent 90 days into the apprenticeship and 50 per cent after 365 days – the grant can be spent on anything to support the costs of taking on an apprentice – from uniforms to salary and travel.

Contact Kerry Cook at The Source on 07584 391445 or 

Source apprentices Alex and Tom are on track with careers in logistics

Two teenagers who didn’t know what path to take on leaving college in lockdown now have logistics careers.

The Source found them apprenticeships with InXpress Sheffield.

A franchise of a worldwide operation, the Kelham Island company launched in 2018 to give local businesses cheaper shipping and logistics support.

It is growing fast and opening an additional business, Cloud9 Fulfilment, to store clients’ stock and handle their e-commerce orders and deliveries direct.

Alex Watson, 19, has joined as a Level 3 Business Administrator Apprentice and Tom Cutts, 18, of Brampton Bierlow, Rotherham, as Digital Marketing Apprentice.

“We decided to offer apprenticeships to give young people the chance of careers. The pandemic has caused havoc with their futures,” said Neil Armstrong of InXpress. “The grants meant we could afford to take on two instead of one. The Source found us excellent recruits.”

Alex, of Heeley, said: “I was struggling, not knowing what to do after my education abruptly ended in the pandemic. I feel incredibly lucky to join such a promising business.”

Tom Cutts had been offered university places but wanted to learn on the job. He is thriving at InXpress and helping it to build two new websites.