Traineeship funding boost for providers and employers

GMLPF members will no doubt have read about the recent statement from the Treasury announcing funding for an extra 30,000 traineeships from September. The story featured yesterday in FE News, on the BBC website and various other media outlets.

Financial incentive

The package includes a ¬£1000 financial incentive for employers to offer a traineeship place and a 55% boost in provider payment for 19-24-year-olds on the programme. Also, unlike previously, the scheme will now be open to those with level 3 qualifications. The details of the proposal are to be released tomorrow as part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s economic plan for recovery post-COVID.

Concerns

Of course, GMLPF welcomes the announcement of Government investment in the skills sector as a method for tackling the inevitable increase in unemployment. We will be supporting members to understand how the additional funding can be accessed. However, we recognise also that there will be some legitimate concerns to raise and consider. These include:

  • The inevitable negative impact on 16-18-year-olds who are suitable for traineeships but do not attract the new employer incentive for 19 to 24-year-olds
  • We welcome the limits on payments per employer but need to know more about safeguards to ensure public money is spent appropriately and delivers strong social value and value for money
  • Traineeships are designed to lead to apprenticeships and employment; in the current economic climate, there is a real danger that these positions will not be available to trainees once they complete their placements.
  • Many are suggesting that funding would best be spent incentivising employers to engage with apprenticeships.
  • Traineeships are designed to lead to apprenticeships, but the scheme will now be open to those with level 3 qualifications.
  • Arguments that the focus on traineeships will impact on the take-up of T-Levels

We will be considering the implications in more depth following the full announcement tomorrow, in preparation for a consultation with members.