Kirklees Council's Employment & Skills service offers a wide range of support for businesses looking to benefit from apprenticeships across the Kirklees district. This guidance is for those looking to recruit an apprentice and those who already employ apprentices within their business.

We provide advice on financial support, business support and recruitment support, plus much more.

The below information provides further details. However, if you are unsure about the type of support you can access, or the funding which you may be eligible for, please complete the contact form below and a member of the Employment & Skills team will contact you shortly to discuss this further.

About apprenticeships

Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce - which is crucial to future-proofing your business. You can train your workforce and help them develop the necessary skills and knowledge they'll need to fill potential future skills gaps.

You'll also be offering someone a great way to gain skills, knowledge and expertise in a specific business area, whilst gaining qualifications and earning at the same time. This route is a great choice for anyone starting out in employment, but it can also help someone gain additional skills and qualifications to progress within their chosen career.

Funding an apprentice

Following the conclusion of the government's 'Plan for Jobs' incentive payments for hiring an apprentice, which ended on the 31 January 2022, Kirklees Council as part of the Local Economic Recovery programme has accessed gainshare funding, which it will use to offer apprenticeship grants to eligible businesses.

Grants will be available to those employing a new apprentice from 1 February 2022, and are paid regardless of the age of the apprentice when they start their apprenticeship. Grants which can be applied for are detailed below:

  • Grants of up to £3,000 awarded to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for taking on a new apprentice in the following sectors:
    • Manufacturing and engineering
    • Creative and digital
    • Low carbon
    • Construction
    • Health
    This will be dependent on apprentices being paid the National Minimum wage, and will be capped at three per organisation. There is no age cap on the funding.
  • A grant of £1,500 awarded to SMEs for taking on a new apprentice in any other business sector not mentioned above. This will be dependent on apprentices being paid National Minimum Wage and will be capped at two per organisation.
  • Grants of up to £1,500 will be made available to retain apprentices who are able to progress to the next level of apprenticeship within SME organisations in priority sectors. This will be capped at two per organisation.

In addition to the gainshare scheme mentioned above, a grant of £1,000 can be applied for via the government's national scheme (paid for by the training provider and not by Kirklees Council) by any business employing an apprentice who:

  • Is aged 16 to 18 years old
  • Is under 25 years of age with an education, health and care plan
  • Has been in the care of their local authority

The Kirklees Levy Transfer

If you are a SME within the Kirklees district, who does not pay into the apprenticeship levy, you could benefit from the Kirklees Levy transfer. Applications are open to SMEs from any sector, allowing you the opportunity to access available funds to finance/part finance apprenticeship qualifications up to and including Level 4. This is dependent on apprentices being paid National Minimum wage.

Recruiting an apprentice

Kirklees Council supports local employers to source enthusiastic and energetic employees into their business. They can help you source and recruit apprentices to match your skills gap and meet your business requirements.

They can provide support in the following areas:

  • Look at your recruitment processes and review your job descriptions to maximise the number of apprentices applying
  • Put you in contact with candidates who are ready to start
  • Help to screen applications - advertise, interview and shortlist for your consideration
  • Support to manage your new employee's transition into your workplace through in-work support

Upskilling via an apprenticeship and supporting your business

Kirklees Council can assist with your future workforce planning and help you consider whether your current workforce could 'upskill' via an apprenticeship. The programme offers wrap-around support for apprentices, managers of apprentices, and businesses who employ apprentices.

They can provide support in the following areas:

  • Support to spend the Apprenticeship Levy or access Levy Transfer
  • Provide skills gap analysis to assist employers to identify skills gaps and how it can be addressed using apprenticeships
  • Supporting employers to build internal capacity to provide support and career development for staff through training for line managers and supervisors
  • Wrap around services to help individuals to access apprenticeships; literacy/numeracy, softer skills and career planning
  • Business mentoring and peer to peer support sharing employer good practice and success stories
  • Provide support for mental health & wellbeing, getting the work/life balance right and feeling fulfilled

Contact the Employment and Skills team

Think an apprenticeship could be the right move for your business? Contact our dedicated team to discuss your options.

Contact Employment and Skills