A Plan for Jobs 2020: Encouraging UK employment after COVID-19

Posted by: Jennifer Bramley

On 8th July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced A Plan for Jobs 2020, a new scheme to help prevent mass unemployment caused by COVID-19. This is the second phase of the UK Governments actions against the virus.

What does A Plan for Jobs involve?

One of the main aspects of the A Plan for Jobs initiative is to

  • Support people in finding jobs.
  • Enable them to gain the skills they need to get jobs.
  • Provide targeted help for young people to get into work.

Traineeships:

The Government will provide an additional £111 million to fund high-quality work placements and traineeships for 16-24-year-olds.

Along with this, for the first time ever, the Government will give employers who provide trainees with work experience a £1,000 grant (per trainee). As long as these employers provide 60-90 hours of work experience per trainee, they can use this scheme for up to 10 trainees.

Eligibility for traineeships has also been extended, to those with Level 3 qualifications and below, to ensure that more young people have access to high-quality training.

Employer Payments for Apprentices:

Employers who utilise apprenticeships will now receive more incentive payments when taking on a new apprentice.

On top of the existing £1,000 grant provided for hiring 16-18-year olds, a new payment will be given to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire:

  • If the apprentice is aged between 16-24, the employer will receive £2,000.
  • If the apprentice is 25 years old or older, the employer will receive £1,500.

Half of the incentive payment will be given on month 4 of the apprenticeship programme and the remaining half will be given during the 13th month, via a provider claim (providing that the learner is in learning and fully up to date with evidence).

This initiative will begin on 1st August 2020 and only last until 31st January 2021.

Digital Apprenticeship Service Funding:

On top of these incentives, the Government have also announced that SME employers can now request funding for up to 10 apprentices through the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS), for the remainder of the 2020-21 financial year.

Before now, all small employers were only able to utilise DAS to start up to 3 apprentices, but the new policy has been brought into place to encourage non-levy payers to recruit more apprentices through the Digital Apprenticeship Service. This is to help the ESFA prepare to move all employers away from the use of government-procured contracts. This will still be covered cost-wise by the ESFA for 95%, meaning employers will only need to contribute 5% of the standard cost – Example £6000 programme would cost £300.


These policies will not only incentivise employers to provide more opportunities but give individuals the chance to re-build their confidence and skills in the workplace by gaining experience that will improve their chances of going on to find long-term, sustainable work.

Share this post