The recent ‘Plan for Jobs’ announcement including Kickstart, Traineeship and Apprenticeship Incentives, has been set out to revive the economy and help with rocketing youth unemployment, however, many employers may be left in a state of wonder as they face these initiatives as a method of business support and growth.

For businesses weighing up different options at the moment in the current COVID-19 climate, these different schemes off financial and recruitment based support are paramount for survival and growth, whilst they are also proactively supporting youth unemployment.

So, what are the differences? What are your options? How can these schemes help you right now?  First and foremost it is important to understand the difference between someone who is starting out in there career, someone who is job ready and someone who is already a field expert.


Employers will be able to draw down a grant for six-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

Some apprenticeships providers feel this is a threat to apprenticeships, fearing a potentially devastating effect on training providers who will lose their opportunity to apprentice people. This is because employers will choose a cost-free, short-term employee (with no coaching and training) over a low-waged, long-term apprentice on an ambitious learning plan.

Whilst we at TDM recognise the worries of our colleague training providers, we believe that our employer partners do understand the value of our long-term coaching and training for their apprentices. Furthermore, employers who work with TDM, want to invest their supportive and formative mentoring time into developing up and keeping on an employed apprentice, rather than investing their time, hopes and energies into a short-stay, cost-free work-placement. Why? Because they believe in the nobility of work, the inspiring power of opportunity and in the British people’s fortitude and endurance. The short term placement with no learning plan is, bluntly, going to be too often treated as an extra pair of very disposable hands.

This scheme is great, though, for the UK if it is delivered as a generous act of corporate social responsibility by an employer, for those who are furthest from being employable. It can serve as a confidence-building strategy for those who lack confidence in themselves as workers. Funding will cover 100 per cent of the relevant national minimum wage by age group, for a minimum of 25 hours a week for 6 months, so long as the jobs are “new”. For a 24 year-old, the grant will be around £6,500.


Traineeships are programmes of education and training that will help young people get the skills and experience they need to secure an apprenticeship or a job as a result.

The really good news here is that TDM could now become funded to help our employers to offer a work trial for a “Trainee” who holds Level 3 (e.g. A-Level) qualifications. We will look into this for the benefit of our employer partners.

Previously, the programme was constrained to people who had Level 2 only qualifications (e.g. GCSEs). Some employers may like to trial multiple 6th Form or FE College leavers on a “Traineeship” opportunity in order that they can prove themselves for apprenticeship opportunities. The risk to the employer, of course, is that the “better” prospects (and their parents and guardians) will be much more attracted to the longer-term commitment that employers formally agree to on their apprenticeship programmes. Bigger offers attract better talent, but shorter commitments mean lower risk. A £1,000 bonus will be limited to 10 trainees per employer.

Watch this space because TDM is going to ask the ESFA to fund us to deliver as an option for our employer partners.


TDM believes that Apprenticeships and Degree Apprenticeships are the most important educational programmes available in the UK for developing the “fortitude and endurance” that is needed to drive Britain’s Skills Development forwards and for addressing our Productivity gap.

The effect of COVID-19 on businesses has been and continues to be tough, with many financial and recruitment based implications. Therefore, It’s with great pleasure that we are able to share that the Apprenticeship Incentives payment has now been extended from January 2021 to March 2021! See our Apprenticeship Incentives blog to find out more here.

Genuinely work-based learning, when underpinned with academic rigour, is clearly an effective strategy for developing employable knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours. “Careers with plans”, not “a plan for jobs” are needed if the UK is really going to tackle this unemployment crisis and the national productivity gap moving into the future. For many companies, offering an apprenticeship programme is funded by the government or funding can be accessed in order to make it viable and affordable.

If you are a business considering a longer-term solution to the skills gap that COVID-19 has generated, work ready apprentices who can specialise in a wide range of fields could be the solution.

Never underestimate the power of apprenticing someone to a National Standard!

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