Grant Mixology _ How to support your L&D budget with government grants available
HR in Hospitality event Blog: Esther O’Halloran, Chair HR in Hospitality, 03 September 2020
Jo Simovic from our sponsorship partners at Umbrella Training
Mix and match your grants: The combination of the use of grants and apprenticeships that are built around your organisational needs like change management or clinical cleanliness will bring a great return on the investment without spending any of your budget. Your learning culture will thrive in the most difficult of the times with strategic mixing of the right ingredients and using the specialist consultants of your choice. There is a fine art to mixing these and blending them to get the most out of them.
“For the best return on your money pour your purse into your head” Benjamin Franklin
As we come through this pandemic we now need to focus on what is the new operational process and customer journeys, PPE and flexible scheduling and tracking, what this means for our people and our business. Plus there is a need to focus on new skill development areas around infection control and safe working and customer service and handling difficult situations. We also need to hone in on more cohesive and deeper management skills in light of Covid, and all of this with a limited budget, so consider how will you transfer all of this learning into the workplace without increasing your costs.
Art of subsiding your budgets with government funding – how can you maximise the funding and get a good ROi and benchmarking every initiative around retraining (or building) your staff. Measuring the impact and the results your training has on your business will be invaluable when budgets are going to be tight or cut.
What should your inspirational people strategy look like? You may want it to look like a Bentley but the reality is the budget will only stretch to a toy sized car, so here are the opportunities for funding…..
- Available apprenticeships grants. There is a £2000 grant for 6 month only from 01 August for those hired under 25 years old. They must be a new employee to the business (or not have worked for you in the last 6 months) as the idea is to get young people into employment post Covid. . Simple portal to claim grants outside of the levy directly yourself
- Traineeships – minimum period is 6 weeks up to 6 months to provide young people (16-24) a flavour of what it is like in our industry and there will now be a £1000 grant per trainee. You could develop a bespoke 6 week training programme (this can include induction etc) that could then lead into an apprenticeship training programme, so hence you can mix your grants!
- Kickstart scheme – 6 month paid work placements for young people on universal credits and cover national minimum wage for 25 hours per week based on their age (be aware of what you can recover). There is a £1500 placement to cover set up costs and it can be moved onto an apprenticeship scheme to maximise development opportunities. However, there is a 30 job placement minimum so you may need to work in partnership with another organisation or a consortia of partners (speak to your apprentice provider for more details) linked with Job Centre Plus if you can only place 10 people for example.
- Levy, Co-investment, Levy Transfers – remember levy is a tax you should use your own pot and maximise the use as the funds expire after 2 years. Look for as many funding opportunities as possible. You can be using co-investment route and paying only 5% of the cost of the apprenticeship and the government will cover 95%. You could also benefit from levy transfer that covers 100% of the cost if you use London Progression Collaboration transfer funds. It is all about finding the right connections and partners to work with to keep your pot full.
- Mixing it up – a) Bespoke kickstart scheme of 6 months plus b) Bespoke apprenticeship of 12 months = £3500 grant and between £2730 to £4920 in wages! You can fund all this through a levy transfer (same as gifting just a different name for it) so the cost to your business is releasing the person to go for training or complete their projects. Or another example; a) Bespoke Traineeship 6 weeks plus b) Bespoke Apprenticeships of 12 months = £3000 grant! Al of this can go into your people development budget.
How to make apprenticeships work….
- Ensure you have the right provider
- Start with the why in mind so your training is aligned to your business needs
- Learning can be a great platform for supporting a cultural shift in how managers lead
- You can use the programme to focus on developing critical skills and the time has never been more relevant than now
See some of the case study examples for what can be achieved when you use the programme to its maximum potential and utilising the levy. Be creative and utilise the funding that is available and search for added value and invest in the right level of apprenticeships. Important to mix things up and we have an opportunity at a time of redundancy to be more creative in how we can keep people in our industry.