Scottish Government interventions in response to COVID-19

In response to the challenging impacts of COVID-19, the Scottish Government introduced a range of interventions to maximise apprenticeship uptake and create opportunities for young people throughout Scotland.

Apprenticeship Employer Grant
The Scottish Government has introduced a new Apprenticeship Employer Grant to encourage more employers to take on apprentices. 

The grant includes £5,000 for employers taking on or upskilling a 16 to 24 year old apprentice, and for those aged up to 29 years old who are disabled, care leavers and Minority Ethnic. Any employers who take on or upskill an apprentice aged 25 or older will receive a financial incentive of £3,500.

Funding will be available for eligible employers where the apprenticeship start date was on or after 1 December 2020 and will be available until 25 March 2021.

Adopt an Apprentice
The Scottish Government allocated £10 million on measures to recruit and retain apprentices helping Modern and Graduate apprentices who are facing redundancy get back into work. This includes the enhanced Adopt an Apprentice programme of a £5,000 incentive for employers who are willing to employ a redundant Modern or Graduate apprentice.

Further information on Adopt an Apprentice can be accessed on Adopting an apprentice (

Young Person's Guarantee
Officially launched by the Scottish Government last year, the Young Person's Guarantee sets out the ambition that within two years every 16-24 year old in Scotland will either be in paid employment, enrolled in education, involved on an apprenticeship or training programme, or engaged on a formal volunteering or supported activity programme.

Further information on the guarantee can be accessed on The Young Person's Guarantee | My World of Work.

Creating job opportunities - Employer recruitment incentives
As part of the Young Person's Guarantee, £30 million has been allocated by Scottish Government to Local Authorities for additional investment in local partnerships. A significant part of the funding will be for employer recruitment incentives with these incentives delivered by each of the 32 local authorities.

For more information speak with your local authority employer recruitment team.

Pathway Apprenticeships
As part of the Young Person's Guarantee, the £10 million Pathway Apprenticeships programme, aimed at 16 and 17 year olds, is already up and running and will help young people gain key skills in sectors like construction, business skills, software and hardware IT, engineering and early years, helping them prepare for the world of work.

Further information on Pathway Apprenticeships can be found on Apprenticeships | Pathway Apprenticeships.

Flexible Workforce Development Fund
In response to the introduction of the UK Government Apprenticeship Levy, the Scottish Government introduced the Flexible Workforce Development Fund which allows levy-paying employers to access up to £15,000 to upskill and reskill their workforce.

The Scottish Government have doubled the Flexible Workforce Development Fund to £20 million, providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities to the existing workforce, and have opened it out for the first time to non-Apprenticeship Levy paying SMEs to help them adapt as required.

Levy-paying employers can access up to £15,000 with wider access through colleges or Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in 2020/21. SMEs will be able to access up to £5,000 through college and Open University training in 2020/21.

Further information on the Flexible Workforce Development Fund can be accessed here.

Individual Training Accounts
Individual Training Accounts are available to help people develop the skills they need for work, giving people who are unemployed or in low paid work the opportunity to access £200 towards training. Applications for the Individual Training Accounts scheme are currently open until 28 February 2021.

Further information can be accessed here.

National Transition Training Fund
The National Transition Training Fund aims to tackle the rise in unemployment caused by COVID-19 by offering short sharp training opportunities for people to learn in-demand skills. Anyone aged 25 or over who is facing redundancy or is unemployed is eligible for the fund and will equip people with the skills they need to enter into sectors or occupations where we are most confident of a strong recovery, high demand, or tangible job opportunities.

Further information can be found here.

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Education COVID-19