Telford College is offering Government-funded cash incentives to Shropshire employers, to give young people a helping hand with their careers.
The employer engagement team is running a series of initiatives designed to help businesses recruit new staff or upskill their workforce.
And there is significant funding available for companies who hire new apprentices – in some instances as much as £3,000 per person.
Lora Rogers, Telford College recruitment officer, said: “It’s a tough time for young people right now. In Telford & Wrekin, unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds is at a high of over 3,000.
“Employing an apprentice is easier than you think, though – and there’s financial support and help available.
“If an employer has taken on a new staff member since the start of August, they can put them through an apprenticeship and still qualify for financial support.”
Funding is available right now, through until January, for companies who recruit apprentices through Telford College.
Businesses can get £3,000 for 16 to 18-year olds, £2,000 for those aged 19-25, and £1,500 for each new apprentice taken on who is over 25.
Right now, Telford College has apprenticeships available across a range of sectors, including business administration, IT, customer service, adult care, early years, teaching assistant, warehousing, and ILM management, and more.
Lora added: “You can employ apprentices at different levels, from school leavers and university graduates, to people who want to further their careers or change direction completely.
“You can hire someone new, or upskill an existing employee. As an employer, you can get funding from the Government to help pay for the training.”
Latest figures show that 86% of employers feel apprenticeships help them develop skills relevant to their organisation – and more than three quarters say they have directly improved productivity.
Lora said: “The beauty of an apprentice is that you can adapt their training according to the needs of your business, and they in turn are motivated to learn new skills.”
Telford College is also currently working with the West Midlands Combined Authority, which is providing additional funding for digital and IT qualifications.
Companies which choose IT courses through Telford College will get their course fees fully funded – plus a host of other incentives too.
And the college is also an official ‘gateway’ for the Government’s Kickstart scheme, a £2 billion programme providing subsidised jobs for young people.