Employment, skills and training support

We work with local partners to ensure that employers and employees, as well as those seeking employment, have access to skills training and support. 

On this page you will find information for employers, employees and those seeking employment, including young people. 

On this page:

Employment support initiatives

For Young People 16-24: The Youth Employment Hub:

New Forest District Council and partner local authorities Eastleigh Borough Council, Test Valley District Council and Winchester City Council have combined to launch a new 'Youth Employment Hub'.

This is a virtual and telephone-based support service with resources and opportunities designed to connect, listen to and provide solutions for young people to find employment, enhance their career prospects and secure their futures.   

This fully funded project aims to reduce the barriers for young people aged 16-24.

This is now even more important as Covid 19 has impacted on their education and employment opportunities.  

The project will work closely with employers, training providers, schools and colleges to give young people the chances they deserve. 

For Young People 16 - 24: The Kickstart Scheme:

As part of the government's Plan for Jobs, The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers: 

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 month
  • associated employer National Insurance contributions 
  • minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions 
  • employers can spread the job start dates up until 31 December 2021. You'll get funding until 30 June 2022 if a young person starts their job on 31 December 2021. 

Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future. 

You can check the guidance for employers

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

A number of 'Gateway' organisations are operating in Hampshire to bring together businesses who individually cannot provide the minimum 30 placements needed for their own Kickstart Scheme.

These 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.


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 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. 

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. 

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, assistance with the recruitment process as well as guidance on funding apprenticeship training and levy transfers. 

The Apprenticeship Hub can also help individuals find apprenticeship training and answer any questions regarding applications or finding apprenticeship opportunities across Hampshire and Surrey. 

Find out more on the Solent Apprenticeship Hub website

There is also information for parents or carers of apprentices on the  Government site set up specifically to answer your questions: Apprenticeships Parents Hub website

Travel help for employees and trainees: 

For Young People 16 - 25: Wheels to Work:

 New Forest District Council have awarded £6,800 grant funding to the Wheels to Work (W2W) moped loan scheme run by Community First. 

The Wheels to Work project supports local young people aged between 16 and 25 with a low-priced moped loan so they can more easily attend work, apprenticeships, training or job interviews.

There is a small weekly hire charge and the moped loan is for up to a year. The scheme includes training, vehicle insurance and tax, a helmet and lock, plus servicing. 

For details on the moped loan scheme and how to apply, see the Wheels to Work scheme on the Community First website.  

Training and skills

Local training providers

Brockenhurst College

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

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

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.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)

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.  

ACAS 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 

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 tool. The 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

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