Expansion of Youth Contract welcomed by businesses

Youth Contract

Cash incentives spur on employers

The government has announced that the Youth Contract, a programme intended to encourage employers to hire apprentices, is to be expanded. Businesses will be paid a grant of GBP2,275 for hiring a young person between the ages of 18 and 24. The sum is designed to cover half of the cost of national minimum wage for a six month period. Small businesses hiring apprentices for the first time are also eligible for a grant of GBP1,500.

Businesses have welcomed the extension of the contract, which is set to happen on December 17th. The programme intends to raise awareness of the apprenticeship pathway, and to eliminate any financial concerns employers might have. It calls for a change in mind-set among employers; an acknowledgement of how an apprentice can benefit their business.

Adam Marshall, director of policy and external affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The government has learnt the lessons of the past by striving for a standard national package that is easy for employers to understand and to access. Unfortunately, despite their desire to help young people, too few employers know about the Youth Contract and its opportunities. The government should show its willingness to invest in young people by extending its regional marketing campaign pilot to the rest of the country.”