What is it?
Wigan Council, in partnership with Wigan Works, has launched the Apprenticeships for Young People (AYP) Programme to support businesses to create new apprenticeship vacancies and specifically recruit young people in a skilled trade or profession. For example, this could be in engineering, construction, manufacturing or digital.
Grants are available from £2,000 (for programmes up to 18 months) to £5,000 (for programmes of 4 years) to support businesses providing apprenticeship opportunities. Applicants will be asked to consider local priority candidates from our employment and skills programmes in the first instance, although this is not an essential requirement of the programme.
If your organisation is seeking to recruit for an apprenticeship that falls outside of the criteria for the AYP programme, you may wish to consider #SeeDifferent SME apprenticeship support grants as a potential alternative. A grant of £3,000 is available to Wigan based employers who meet the criteria. By applying for AYP funding, you will be considered for both schemes.
Who can apply?
To be eligible, businesses would be required to:
- Recruit an apprentice who is a Wigan resident aged between 16 and 24 years who has the right to work in England
- The apprenticeship must be in the eligible subject areas of construction, engineering, manufacturing or digital. See a full list of these apprenticeships.
- Be a business with a location within the Wigan borough
- Pay National Minimum Wage (external link) and not the lower Apprenticeship Minimum Wage (currently £3.90 per hour)
- Recruit a new apprentice and not apply for funding for an existing employee (AYP approval must be given prior to an apprenticeship agreement being signed and employment commencing)
- Provide formal certificated evidence at the end of the apprenticeship to enable final release of payments, based on successful completion
- Commit to supporting the apprentice into full-time employment at the end of the apprenticeship (there is an expectation that the job is sustainable)
- Commit to The Deal for Business
- Commit to ongoing engagement with the monitoring officer from the Invest in Wigan team
- To support positive PR which will be shared through Wigan Council’s communication channels.
The eligible apprenticeship standards and frameworks will be reviewed on a quarterly basis, allowing for new standards to be incorporated into the programme and the removal of old frameworks where applicable.
How will the funding be awarded?
The funding will be paid in instalments as set out in the terms and conditions.
The number of instalments and when they are paid will depend on the length of the apprenticeship programme that you have chosen for your apprentice.
Businesses will be required to work closely with Wigan Council throughout the length of the apprenticeship programme.
Monitoring will be carried out by Wigan Council and this will require businesses to provide evidence during the programme to confirm the apprentice is still in employment, is progressing and being supported. We will check:
- Whether the business is still training the apprentice
- Progress by the apprentice
- Any issues arising from the apprenticeship.
Payments could be affected if monitoring is delayed or progress with the apprenticeship has been delayed by the business not adhering to apprenticeship requirements.
How can I apply?
You can apply for funding using our online expression of interest form. Funds are not guaranteed and businesses must meet the terms and conditions.
See our terms and conditions for further guidelines.
Expressions of interest will be considered by our grant panel on a fortnightly basis. You must secure approval for the grant before the apprentice starts employment (the recruitment process can be ongoing but approval must be given before the apprenticeship begins), otherwise your application may be deemed ineligible.
Please note that you will need to agree and sign up to The Deal for Business as part of completing the online application.
Apprenticeships in action