Skills and training support

We work with local partners to ensure that employers and employees have access to skills training and support.

Government initiatives

The Kickstart Scheme: Launched 2 September 2020

As part of the government's Plan for Jobs, a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will create new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.

The 6 month placements are open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. They will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales.

Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If your business is unable to offer this many job placements, the guidance states that you can 'partner' with other organisations to reach the minimum number.

A number of Gateway organisations are operating in Hampshire to bring together businesses who individually cannot provide the minimum 30 placements. These Gateway organisations will act as an intermediary between your own business and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who are administering the scheme at a national level. They will gather the information about your work placement and complete the associated administration. For providers operating in Hampshire please see the link below. Note that New Forest District Council does not recommend or endorse any of those listed. 

DWP Listing of Gateway organisations operating in Hampshire

We will update businesses on the local Kickstart Scheme via our business support enews

We will also share information via Twitter

You can check the guidance for employers

Young people can find out more about the Kickstart Scheme at the Job Help site.

Funding for skills and training development

There may be funding available to support the development of skills within your workforce. Many grant schemes are only open to new applicants for a limited period or for specific types of business or training. For this reason, we cannot list them all here.

On the GOV.UK website, you can search for funding using the Government Grant and Finance search toolThe search will return the details of funding via Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

New Forest is served by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. It is a locally owned partnership between businesses and local authorities. Solent LEP has its own business funding programmes and a searchable database for funding.

Visit the Solent LEP website to use the Solent LEP Growth Hub.

Local training providers

Brockenhurst College provides training for employees, professional qualifications and leisure courses. They can also assist with apprenticeships.

Find out more on the Brockenhurst College website.

Totton College provides a free training needs analysis service. This is to identify skill needs amongst your employees, or help find an apprentice through the apprenticeship scheme. It can also advise on Government funding for skills support.

Find out more on the Totton College website.

National training providers

The National Careers Service allows you to search for courses and training online. You can also get advice on qualifications and funding.

Find out more on the National Careers Service website.


Apprentices can add great value to your existing workforce across a broad range of roles. There are currently around 1,000 apprenticeship programmes ranging from Level 2 (equivalent to five GCSEs) to Level 7 in subject areas including warehousing, ecology, and leadership and management.

Apprenticeships are not just for the recruitment of new staff into your business. They can also be an excellent way of upskilling your existing workforce.

Funding for apprenticeships

There is significant financial support from the Government for recruitment of apprenticeships. You can get help to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment.

The amount you get depends on whether or not you pay the apprenticeship levy. This must be paid if you're an employer with a pay bill of more than £3 million each year.

Details the support available can be found at the Apprenticeships Employer Hub website.

Support for apprentice employers

The Solent Apprenticeship Hub was established to encourage more businesses to take on apprentices. It provides free, impartial advice on apprentice suitability, which apprenticeship programmes would suit and assistance with the recruitment process.

Find out more on the Solent Apprenticeship Hub website.

The Government directory of courses and training providers can help if you would like to recruit an apprentice. The search allows users to search by job role or training provider.

Visit the GOV.UK website to find apprenticeship training.

Support for potential apprentices

If you're looking to become an apprentice, you can find a range of information on the Government Apprenticeship Hub. You can also look for employers currently recruiting for apprenticeship roles.

Find out more on the Apprenticeships Hub website.

Support for parents of apprentices

Apprenticeships offer a broad range of career opportunities, and allow apprentices to earn while they learn. With degree-level apprenticeships now available, this can be an attractive alternative to the traditional university route.

It's understandable that parents will have lots of questions about the processes involved and what the benefits of being an apprentice are. The Government has set up a site to answer these questions.

Find out more on the Apprenticeships Parents Hub website.

Training and advice for employers

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is an independent public body that receives funding from the Government.

It gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and help to resolve disputes. It also offers training events and tailored support to help you deal with workplace problems and keep up to date with best practice.

Find out more on the ACAS website.

Travel help for employees

Wheels to Work is a moped loan scheme for residents of New Forest aged between 16 to 25. It helps to enable people to get to work, training, an apprenticeship or interview if they have no access to private or public transport.

Find out more on the Hampshire County Council website.

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