PLUMBING and heating firms should take up the Scottish Government’s new apprentice grants, according to their trade body.
Employers get up to £5,000 for each apprentice under the scheme, said the Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF).
The cash is available under the Scottish Government’s new Apprentice Employer Grant (AEG).
The grant is being rolled out to help alleviate the severe impact of the economic decline caused by Covid-19.
Employers get £5000 for each eligible apprentice who is in the 16-24 age group and £5000 for each eligible apprentice who is aged 25-29 and is disabled, care experienced or Black Minority Ethnic.
Firms also get £3,500 for each eligible apprentice who is aged over 25.
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 March 25 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, the Managing Agent for the plumbing apprenticeship in Scotland, on 0131 524 1245 or at [email protected].