Grant scheme is expanded

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A scheme offering grants of £2,500 to help businesses take on an apprentice has been expanded to enable more companies and young people to benefit.

Derbyshire County Council is creating 1,000 apprenticeship positions – 500 in its own workforce and 500 by supporting Derbyshire businesses.

The authority joined forces with the National Apprenticeship Service last month to extend its popular Derbyshire Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) scheme after the original 200 grants of £2,500 were snapped up within six months.

The link created another 300 grants of £2,500 and was initially for 16 to 18-year-olds and for businesses with less than 250 employees.

Now, following latest research and feedback from Derbyshire businesses, it has been expanded to allow grant applications for young people aged 16-24-years-old and for business with up to 1,000 employees.

Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Our Derbyshire Apprenticeship Grant for Employers has been a huge success – supporting young people into a career and helping our smaller companies with future skills through a new apprentice. “The impact of our AGE grant scheme, combined with Government initiatives, means only half as many small businesses in the county intended taking on an apprentice this year.

“Grants were always intended to be flexible and offer support where it will have greatest impact and we’ve listened to businesses to adapt the scheme.”

For information on how to apply for funding contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600.