Graham Arundell, HAE managing director.

Graham Arundell, HAE managing director.

The Hire Association Europe (HAE) and Event Hire Association (EHA) has announced a £100000 (€129658) scheme in the UK to incentivise rental companies to take on apprentices.

Recognising small businesses face additional cost pressures when recruiting new staff, and in particular apprentices in their first year, HAE EHA said they were offering companies an opportunity to play a part in developing the rental skills of the future.

By making the fund available, from the associations’ budget, to their membership they’re hoping that more apprenticeships will be created. The money provides enough support for up to 60 apprentices; allowing for an hourly increase in wages in year one from the UK government’s recommended £3.30 (€4.28) to at least £4.12 (€5.34).

Eligible businesses will need to be SafeHire certificated; in HAE membership for at least one year and have an annual turnover of less than £1 million (€1.3 million).

Other conditions apply, such as the need for the chosen apprenticeship scheme to be recognised and lead to an NVQ; only one apprentice per business will be eligible for the HAE EHA funding and funding is only available for the first year.

Graham Arundell, HAE EHA managing director, said, “With the apprenticeship levy looming and almost weekly pronouncements on how business needs to create more apprenticeships, it is vital that HAE EHA supports our membership.

“By making the £100,000 fund available we’re demonstrating our commitment to helping small businesses take up the challenge. The HAE EHA fund will boost the attractiveness of hire for the employee and help meet extra costs for the employer. It’s a win, win situation for all concerned.”

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