19th March 2024

The Government has announced a reform package that it hopes will support businesses to deliver more apprenticeship places.  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 – reducing costs and burdens for businesses and delivering more opportunities for young people to kick start their careers.  This will remove the need for small employers to meet some of the cost of training.

The Government will also increase the amount of funding that employers who are paying the apprenticeship levy can pass onto other businesses.  Currently this is limited to up to 25% of their unused levy and under the new measures will increase to 50%.

BIBA has been calling for reform of the levy and welcomes these changes and the hoped-for boost to the number of apprenticeships.  We are particularly pleased to see some fully funded apprenticeships for smaller businesses as we have highlighted the difficulties these businesses face.  However, we would like to see the Government go further and widen the training that can be provided under the scheme by all employers and to all age groups to include wider skills training outside formal apprenticeship.  Maximising training opportunities within our sector is vital to attract both young and new people to join a sector where 50% of employees are aged 40 or older. Technology advancement and emerging risk will also result in a need for the upskilling of the existing workforce.

In the announcement Government also claim:

  • Unnecessary regulatory burdens to be slashed through Brexit freedoms saving around £150 million per year for thousands of small businesses
  • New taskforce to be established to boost private investment in women-led businesses and make the UK the best place in the world to be a female founder.

You can read more in the Government’s press release here

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