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UK to spend £126m to create 40,000 new traineeships

Britain's chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty
Britain's chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty

Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil a £126m ($176m) investment to bolster training programmes across England as part of the government's Plan for Jobs. The move will see 40,000 new traineeships created, the government said.

The chancellor is due to reveal the new expansion of support to help people get back into work at his 3 March budget announcement.

A new "flexi-job" apprenticeship programme will also be launched, which will allow apprentices to work with more than one employer across a sector. This will see individuals linked with an agency as opposed to a single employer.

The government has also said that from July, employers will be able to bid for money from a £7m fund to create new agencies. The first “flexi-job” apprenticeships are expected to commence in January 2022.

"This pioneering scheme will be a welcome boost for industries with more flexible working patterns, such as the TV and film industry, who will be able to give apprentices greater experience across a wide range of productions," the Treasury said.

According to the government, 93% of Apprenticeships — which are on the job training schemes — lead to work or further education.

Alongside that Sunak is also expected to raise the cash incentives for businesses that employ apprentices.

At the moment, employers get a cash incentive of £2,000 for each apprentice they hire aged between 16-24, and £1,500 for over 25s.

But, from 1 April employers will receive £3,000 payment per hire, regardless of the apprentice’s age. The scheme will also be extended for an extra six months to the end of September 2021.

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Demand for apprenticeships and work-based learning has increased, with 70% of employers saying they believe these programmes will be vital to their organisation’s recovery.

The traineeships will last from six weeks to 12 months depending on need. They will also involve work experience, as well as English, Maths and digital skills training, to prepare people for the world of work, the government said.

Sunak, said: "Our Plan for Jobs has spread opportunity and hope throughout the crisis — helping people back into work and harnessing their talents for the future.

“We know there’s more to do and it's vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike.”

The announcement builds on the government’s existing investment, which includes the £2bn Kickstart scheme, which has already created more than 120,000 opportunities for young people, and the £2.9bn Restart programme to support over a million unemployed people find work.

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