John Harding, employment tax lead at PwC, said:
“The Government today pledged to increase apprenticeship funding to £2.7 billion by 2024-25. As part of this funding commitment, the Government has confirmed they will continue to meet 95% of apprenticeship training costs for those employers who do not pay the Apprenticeship Levy. The Government will also deliver what they are calling 'system improvements' to the existing arrangements. We take this to mean the Apprenticeship Service tool which administers an employer’s levy pot and which training standards are available.
“These updates and funding commitments in skills and apprenticeship training follow recent announcements on a series of measures to alleviate supply chain pressures brought about by a shortage in HGV drivers. What's clear from reviewing the details of today’s Budget is that the Government is clearly looking to provide additional financial support and funding incentives to employers taking on and training new apprentice drivers.
“Finally, in addition to the above new funding for apprenticeships the Government has extended its existing incentive payments - formerly the Kickstart scheme - into 2022 which allows employers to apply for a one off payment of £3,000 for all new apprentices with a start date between 1 October 2021 and 31 January 2022. These payments are different to Apprenticeship Levy funds, and can be spent on anything to support the day to day running costs of a business, including uniforms, staff travel and even salaries.
“Today’s news of the dedicated recruitment service for SMEs, ROI apprenticeship tool and overall system improvements is most welcome. However, the challenge to improve productivity and domestic output will be ensuring that UK employers recognise the value in investing long term in new apprentices and staff training programs.”
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