Coronavirus: skills & community

Please check the national lockdown advice first to see if your business should be open at this time:

Learn about funding and grants for skills & training and community organisations in the York and North Yorkshire region.


Employment Support Schemes

A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships
Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Funding and support for apprentices

The government has confirmed that apprentices can continue with funded training when employers use the job retention scheme, subject to being paid the apprenticeship minimum wage for the time they spend training. Further details can be found here.

Kick Start Scheme

£2bn fund to pay for six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on universal credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Payments cover national minimum wage for 25 hours per week, plus national insurance and pension contributions for Great Britain.  £1,500 grant per trainee for employers who take on new trainees aged 16-24 in England, aiming to triple trainee numbers. The funds aims to support training and any set up costs such as uniforms.

You will interview applicants and select the best candidate for the role. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme, which will not necessarily be within your organisation.

To register your interest in offering placements and/or forming a partnership, please contact

Incentive payments for employers

The government has also introduced incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice. If you hire a new apprentices between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021, you could get:

  • £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24
  • £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over

You can apply from 1 September 2020, and spend the payment on anything you need to support your organisation. This is in addition to the £1,000 payment that the government already gives to help employers meet the needs of some groups of apprentices in the workplace. Further guidance for employers is available here.

The incentive payment is also applicable if you hire apprentices who has been made redundant during the pandemic, as long as they are new to your business. These apprentices will already have valuable skills and experience, so they can make an impact straight away.

Additional local support for apprentices

Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Grant for Hambleton Businesses

There is a limited wage subsidy grant of £2,000 available for small businesses who are located in Hambleton to apply for. The apprentice must live in Hambleton and be aged between 16-24. This is in addition to any financial support gained from the Government.

Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Grant for Richmondshire Businesses

The Richmondshire Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Scheme will help small Richmondshire based businesses take on apprentices – either for the first time or in an additional new post.

Financial support for graduate placements and recruitment

Hambleton District Council are offering your organisation help to recruit a graduate and financial support towards employment costs.

Employment and skills share

The York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub has created a new Facebook group called Employment & Skills Exchange which is open to everyone to support our business communities and help keep business going. Please join the group, promote and post.

Jobs Fuse

York & North Yorkshire Jobs Fuse brings the expertise of the National Careers Service, the Department for Work and Pensions and the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub together to provide a one stop shop for both job seekers and local employers.

Learning Toolkit

Our learning toolkit helps individuals and businesses access the knowledge they need to progress and grow. In these challenging times, we are supporting employers by providing details of the online skills resources provided by our partners that will help build resilience in your business and your workforce.

DfE Skills Toolkit 

DfE have launched the Skills Toolkit. This online platform gives people easy access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.


Government guidance for the charity sector is available here.

For an up to date overview of community funding visit Community First Yorkshire here.


Businesses, charities and community groups

  • Tesco’s Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund has emergency grants of £500 to organisations supporting vulnerable groups. The streamlined application and payment process means a quick turnaround.
  • If you’re a small business (this includes village halls and community buildings) you may be eligible for the government’s Business Support Grant Funding.
  • Charities and social enterprises with an income of up to £1m can apply for a £10k emergency grant from Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) to help support the running of their organisation at this critical time. There is a quick turnaround of a 14-day payment. Apply here.
  • Two Ridings Community Foundation is working with the National Emergencies Trust to establish a fund with grants up to £2,000 to support community groups through this unprecedented time. The focus of the fund will be to offer community organisations emergency funding to deal with emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus. Applications to this fund will be assessed on an ongoing basis subject to available funds. Apply here.
  • Barclays has set up a £100m foundation to address the pandemic. £50m will be committed to supporting charities working with vulnerable people, the other half to match funds raised by employees to back initiatives supporting local communities through the crisis.
  • Fair4All Finance has created a Covid-19 Resilience Fund to provide up to £5m in grant funding to CDFIs and credit unions in England, plus an expanded Affordable Credit Scale-up Programme to help the sector deliver affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances in the future.
  • The Leathersellers’ Company has a fast track application process for one-off grants of up to £3,000 for registered charities. Current focus on homelessness, provision of food and essential supplies, victims of domestic violence and nursing care to vulnerable patients.
  • Martin Lewis from MoneySaving Expert has offered £1m in grants of £5,000 to £20,000 for small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK.

Sports and arts

  • Arts Council England have announced an emergency package of funding for individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector.
  • The Film & TV Charity have an Urgent Financial Support fund and will soon be launching an Emergency Relief Fund in partnership with the BFI. You can read more about both here.


  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50m emergency fund for the heritage sector. Grants between £3k and £50k are available.

Vulnerable and at risk groups

  • The Clothworkers Foundation has capital grants of up to £5k to help groups working with vulnerable or at risk people.
  • If you work with people who may be struggling to pay their energy bills because of the impact of the Coronavirus, the British Gas Energy Trust can help.