AELP welcome announcement by government that a £1bn fund will be made available for businesses as the economy continues to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic
Range of measures includes support for hospitality and leisure, local authority discretionary funding and sick pay support for Covid-19 absences
Catch-up funding and flexibilities for training programmes vital to ensure minimal disruption for learners
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has welcomed news that the government has made available a further £1 billion in support for businesses – but warned that catch up funding and flexibility is still needed for learners who have been affected by the pandemic.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced today that businesses in England in the hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises. Another £100m discretionary funding has been made available for local authorities to support other businesses as part of a £1bn package agreed by government in response to the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Importantly, the government will also cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK.
Jane Hickie, AELP Chief Executive, said:
“The Chancellor’s £1bn in extra funding for businesses will be a lifeline for many, especially in the hospitality sector. This is welcome news at a worrying time, but catch-up funding is still desperately needed for learners affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Omicron variant is impacting large sections of the economy and is likely to have a significant impact on learners – including those undertaking traineeships and apprenticeships. Although catch up funding has previously been made available to 16–19-year-olds in classroom-based settings, this support is not available in work-based settings. As the pandemic continues to severely affect businesses and public services, there must be enough funding and flexibility built into training programmes of all types. It is vital that all learners can complete their qualifications, and any disruption to their studies and work life is minimised.”
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is a national membership organisation that represents the interests of an extensive number of organisations. Our members deliver the majority of England’s apprenticeships, traineeships and programmes for the unemployed.
For further information or for interviews please contact Matt Strong, Communications Manager, AELP, on 0117 986 5389 or [email protected]