Small firms with fewer than 50 employees that take on apprentices aged 16-18 will benefit from a new concession because of changes to the way apprenticeships are funded from May.
Those that are not eligible will be asked to invest 10 per cent of training costs, with the Government covering the remaining 90 per cent. However, with FSB research showing that 70 per cent of apprentices in small businesses are aged 16 to 19 and most likely to be in microbusinesses, most firms will be eligible for this support.
Another change is the apprenticeship levy, starting in April, whereby larger businesses with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million each year must invest in a levy of 0.5 per cent to fund apprenticeships. FSB is part of a Government working group looking at how larger firms could spend some or all of their levy allowance with smaller companies in their supply chain. For guidance on the new system, visit gov.uk and search for ‘apprentices’.
While the apprenticeship levy will apply across the UK, many aspects of the systems in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland operate differently.
For details on how your business in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
will be affected, check with skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk, businesswales.gov.wales or nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/apprenticeships respectively.