Plan to triple traineeships with £111m to include £1,000 employer 'bonus'

The chancellor is expected to announce on Wednesday a £1,000 employer incentive funded from an injection of £111 million into the flagging traineeship programme, says the Treasury.

A Treasury spokesperson said the £1,000 bonus will be limited to 10 trainees per employer and the budget increase will also pay for a 55 percent increase in the training provider payment for 19 to 24-year-olds from £970 to £1,500.

Introduced as a flagship pre-employability programme in 2013, the traineeships are eligible for 16 to 24-year-olds and training providers are funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to deliver pre-employment training and arrange work placements from six weeks to six months.

But traineeship starts have been on a rapid decline, from a high of 24,100 in 2015/16 down to just 14,900 last year.

The scheme will be expanded to include people that already have level 3 qualifications and fund up to 36,700 more starts by “making available three times more funding to providers this year to pay for tripling the number of trainees, and also increasing the funding providers receive for training”.

The Treasury statement also refers to “a high-quality work placement of 60 to 90 hours” which, and this remains unclear, could be a new hours eligibility requirement for the “£1,000 bonus payment” to employers.

The statement goes on to say changes will be implemented in England from September 2020 and “expanding traineeships will be part of a wider package to support young people and to ensure they have the skills and training to go on to high quality, secure and fulfilling employment”.