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Prime Minister announces major reform package to boost apprenticeships

20th Mar 2024 - 07:00
Prime Minister announces major reform package to boost apprenticeships
In his first economic speech since the Spring Budget, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a major package of reforms to support businesses to deliver more apprenticeship places, cut red tape for SMEs and leverage more private investment in female founders.

The Government will fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses from 1st April by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21.

This will reduce costs and burdens for businesses as well as delivering more opportunities for young people to kick start their careers. The move is underpinned by an additional £60 million of new Government funding for next year.

From the start of April, the Government will also increase the amount of funding that employers who are paying the apprenticeship levy can pass onto other businesses from 25% to 50%.

Sunak commented: “Whether it’s breaking down barriers and red tape for small businesses, helping businesses hire more young people into apprenticeships and skilled jobs or empowering women to start up their own businesses – this Government is sticking to the plan and leaving no stone unturned to make the UK the best place to do business. 

“Taken together, these measures will unlock a tidal wave of opportunity and make a real difference to businesses and entrepreneurs across the country.”

Since 2010 the Government has helped 5.7 million people start an apprenticeship, working with employers to develop almost 700 new high-quality standards and increasing the funding for apprenticeships to over £2.7 billion from next year.

Mike Worley, managing director at HIT Training, added: “Increasing the level of funds that large levy-paying employers can transfer to other businesses from 25% to 50% will give small employers further opportunities to build a skilled workforce.

“These extra funds will go towards apprentice training and support individuals into meaningful and rewarding employment. HIT has championed extra support for small businesses since the levy was launched, and we implore the Government to extend this further by funding apprenticeships for all ages in small businesses.”

Written by
Edward Waddell