SNIPEF, the Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation, is encouraging plumbing and heating firms to take up the opportunities offered by the Scottish Government’s new Apprentice Employer Grant (AEG).
The grant, worth up to £5,000, is designed help alleviate the severe impact of the economic decline caused by Covid-19 on individuals and the consequences this has had on employment opportunities.
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.
The AEG offers employers a contribution of:
- £5.000 for each eligible apprentice who is in the 16-24 age group;
- £5.000 for each eligible apprentice who is aged 25-29 and is disabled, care experienced or Black Minority Ethnic (BME);
- £3,500 for each eligible apprentice who is aged 25 plus.
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, added, “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.”