Incentive for local employers

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Aberdeenshire businesses can now get up to £2000 when they take on any young apprentice.

Employers such as Nicol of Skene, Stewart Milne Homes and the Udny Arms Hotel have already got involved. An apprentice can offer new ideas, commitment and a chance for businesses to grow a skilled workforce as well as showing support for the young people in their community.

The Employer Recruitment Incentive (ERI) is delivered by Skills Development Scotland – Scotland’s skills body – and supported by the Scottish Government. Eligibility for ERI has been broadened, it provides businesses with a cash injection when they employ any 16-19 year old as an apprentice or offer an apprenticeship to anyone 20 years or over who has been unemployed for a short period.

Employers can find out more by calling SDS’s helpline on 0800 783 6000 or visiting www.sds.co.uk/eri

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland said: “It’s a tough time for employers everywhere but this announcement will allow them to recruit any 16-19 year old coming out of Scottish schools and colleges and to offset the cost of their wages during the early stages of their Modern Apprenticeship employment. As well as the recruitment incentive, the cost of an apprentice’s training is subsidised, making it a really smart way to grow a skilled workforce.

“Scotland’s young people make a valuable contribution to businesses and to the wider economy. We hope this will encourage more employers to offer our young people that opportunity.”

Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance said: “I want to see as many of our young people as possible develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to be a success in our job market and contribute towards our economy.

“This offer will help convince more companies to give a young person the chance to make their first steps onto the career ladder in 2012. It will also ensure many young people can look forward to a brighter future this year.”

This broadening of the Employer Recruitment Incentive eligibility builds on the previous offer.

Small companies with up to 49 employees recruiting a MA or an employee matching any of the criteria will attract £2000 towards small business employment support.  This is designed to assist small companies with the particular challenges they face in meeting the miscellaneous costs of recruiting additional staff. Companies with 50 employees or more will receive £1000.

The ERI is available to employers recruiting a Modern Apprentice, who matches at least one of the following criteria:

Any 16-19 year old who is recruited as a Modern Apprentice or has progressed to a MA from December 21 2011.

Individuals 20 years of age plus and three months unemployed starting a MA from December 21 2011 onwards.