It is a common experience for many households.
Laid-off youths hanging around the Jobcentre as they struggle to find work. Teenagers sitting at home firing off application after application with little hope of a reply. The long-term unemployed who feel trapped in a benefit culture.
Kent still faces an uphill struggle when it comes to getting people back into work. The county’s unemployment rate remains at 7.3%, putting it higher than the South East region average of 5.8%.
Apprentice mechanic at work
Young people, aged 18 to 24, make up the biggest proportion of those claiming unemployment benefits in the county at 27.3%. In August, 6,625 of them lined up in dole queues.
Join the Kick Start Kent campaign by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
That is why Kent Business is launching the Kick Start Kent campaign to encourage 50 businesses to offer an apprenticeship to someone in Kent over the next year.
The reasons could not be plainer for signing up to our initiative, run with partners IPS International and other apprenticeship providers through KATO, the Kent Association of Training Organisations.
The average apprenticeship increases business productivity by £214 per week, with gains including increased profits, lower prices and better products.
According to the National Apprenticeship Service, 96% of employers who take on an apprentice report benefits to their business, with 72% reporting improved productivity.
There are financial incentives as well. Businesses with less than 1,000 employees who recruit a 16 to 24-year-old may be eligible for a £1,500 grant to take them on. The incentive is available until December 31, 2014.
Apprentices can work in all kinds of fields
The National Apprenticeship Service will fund the cost of apprenticeship training if the apprentice is aged between 16 and 18 or up to 50% if the apprentice is aged 19 to 24. A contribution is also available for apprentices aged over 25.
Getting the money is simple as the funding is paid directly to the organisation that provides the apprenticeship, usually the training provider. It also makes financial sense for people looking for work.
All apprentices must receive the appropriate national minimum wage rate per hour: £2.65 for under 19s and first year apprentices; £4.98 for 18 to 20-year-olds and £6.19 for those aged 21 and over.
To find out more about the Kick Start Kent campaign email email@example.com
An average apprentice’s wage is £170 a week but the key is learning skills on the job and earning a nationally-recognised qualification at the end of it.
Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete and cover more than 170 industries and 1,500 job roles, from engineering to financial advice and veterinary nursing to accountancy. Anyone aged 16 and over who is not in full-time education can apply.
For more information to help Kick Start Kent, both potential employers and apprentices just have to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Apprenticeships - key facts
- The average apprenticeship increases business productivity by £214 per week.
- Employers with up to 1,000 workers who take on apprentices aged 16 to 24 could receive a grant of £1,500.
- The National Apprenticeship Service will fund the cost of apprenticeship training if the apprentice is aged between 16 and 18 or up to 50% if the apprentice is aged 19 to 24. A contribution is also available for apprentices aged over 25.
For details about appreticeships visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk
- All apprentices must receive the appropriatenational minimum wage: £2.65 for under 19s and first year apprentices, £4.98 for 18 to 20-year-olds and £6.19 for those aged 21 and over.
- After finishing, the majority of apprentices (85%) will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) staying with the same employer.
- A third (32%) of all former apprentices had received a promotion within 12 months of finishing, and of those in work, three quarters (75%) reported taking on more responsibility in their job.