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Seize opportunity for apprentice grant

Plumbing and heating companies are being urged by the Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) to take up the opportunities offered by the Scottish Government’s new Apprentice Employer Grant (AEG).

The grant, worth up to £5,000, is being rolled out to help alleviate the severe impact of the economic decline caused by COVID-19 on individuals and the consequences this has had on unemployment and employment opportunities.

The AEG offers employers a contribution of:

• £5000 for each eligible apprentice who is in the 16-24 age group;

• £5000 for each eligible apprentice who is aged 25-29 and is disabled, care experienced or Black Minority Ethnic (BME);

OR

• £3,500 for each eligible apprentice who is aged 25 plus.

The funding is being managed by Skills Development Scotland using its network of contracted providers. It will be available to apprentices taken on since December 1 last year and applications are being accepted up until 25 March this year.

Dale Thomson, training manager for SNIPEF, said: “This has been a very difficult year for everyone involved in the construction sector. Many firms have been badly hit and people have lost their jobs.

“AEG funding will aid the recovery and encourage employers to maintain and enhance their workforces. It will give hope to individuals who have been made redundant over the pandemic.

Fiona Hodgson, chief executive of SNIPEF, said: “Apprentices are the future of the plumbing and heating sector and, as we emerge from the COVID-19 downturn, it is imperative that we maintain our skills pipeline and give the next generation of apprentices the chance of a rewarding career.

“The AEGs follow a recent announcement of funding to help upskill plumbing apprentices and employees in the installation of low carbon heat technologies, which will be so important as we move towards a sustainable energy future.”

Interested employers can contact SNIPEF Training Services on training@snipef.org.

 

4 February 2021

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