A detailed look at funding options available for employers looking to take on career change candidates.

The cost of recruitment

People are an organisation’s biggest asset, and therefore they come at a cost. There is a cost to the recruitment process itself, in terms of advertising and the resources needed to shortlist candidates, interview them and set up the necessary human resource processes to employ them. Then of course you need to train them, which can mean external training costs or a loss in productivity as the new employees are trained internally.

For the applicant, they know that refreshing their career has a cost attached, particularly for a more mature applicant. There will be a need to re-train and pick up new skills and qualifications, but an employer can gain an advantage in the recruitment market by researching funding opportunities and covering the costs to offer a comprehensive recruitment and induction package to a new employee. There are various schemes which now encourage people of any age – from a 20-year-old college leaver to a 50-year-old seeking a new challenge – to re-train and prepare themselves for a new career.

Here we will take a look at some of the recent and more established funding options that are currently available to employers.

  • Kickstart

    In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 the Government launched a £200 Billion ‘Plan for Jobs’ scheme to create and protect hundreds of thousands of jobs to ‘kickstart’ the economy and the jobs market. People of all ages have lost their job through redundancies and the end of the furlough scheme, so the Government has aimed to create a range of traineeship and apprenticeship packages to help people of all ages who are now looking to start a new career. Through this:

    • An employer can be paid £1000 per trainee for high-quality, six-month traineeships for 16-24-year-olds
    • An employer can be paid £2000 for each apprentice signed up who is under 25 years old
    • An employer can be paid £1500 for each apprentice signed up who is 25 years old or over

    This is in addition to the existing apprenticeship scheme for 16-18-year-olds, where the employer is already paid £1000 per apprentice.

  • Adult learners

    Adult learners can apply for grants and bursaries to help pay for training courses in order to achieve City & Guilds qualifications in various skills. The onus is traditionally on the applicant in this case, but employers can research and promote this funding option as part of their recruitment package to help entice people to their organisation. Various industry sectors are covered by the scheme including an NHS bursary, a social work bursary and a teacher training bursary.

  • Legal entitlement

    The Government runs a legal entitlement programme for younger people aged 19-23-years-old wishing to gain new skills to aid a career change. This is a fully funded scheme and enables the applicant to gain a first Level 2 or Level 3 qualification. Again, an employer can look into this and build this process into their recruitment and induction procedures so the applicant doesn’t need to re-train prior to applying for a position. This enables the employer to fill positions faster and also offers more security to the applicant.

  • Ex-services personnel

    Every year around 14,000 skilled and experienced personnel leave the Armed Forces and enter the jobs market. The Ministry of Defence’s Career Transition Programme (CTP) exists to connect this pool of applicants to suitable employers. From SMEs to national and multi-national organisations, employers can join up to the scheme and have access to high quality, motivated and committed personnel. This saves costs in recruitment and training.

    When preparing a recruitment strategy aimed at people looking to refresh their career, it makes sense for employers to have their funding plans in place, as this often leads directly to easier access to the kind of personnel they are hoping to attract. It also entices a better quality of applicant, as they will be attracted by the training options available and the fact that the organisation and funding is in place as part of a recruitment package that is taken care of by the employer.