Halfon quizzed in help for small businesses and apprenticeship

Politics / Sat 17th Sep 2016 pm30 02:57pm

Karin Smyth (Labour, Bristol South)

TO ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure incentives and support packages meet the needs of small businesses in order to increase their ability to take on apprentices.

Photo of Robert Halfon The Minister for Schools

We want to continue to support small employers to take on younger apprentices and so propose that employers with fewer than 50 people working for them will be able to train 16 to 18 year old apprentices at no cost.

We propose to extend this to small employers who take on a 19 to 24 year old apprentice who was formerly in care or has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan. The government will pay 100% of the apprenticeship training costs for these individuals. Further funding detail and provisional funding rates were published in August.

Since April, employers have not been required to pay employer National Insurance contributions for almost all apprentices aged under 25 up to the Upper Secondary Threshold (£827 per week in 2016-17).

This change makes the business case for apprenticeships even stronger, reducing the cost of employing a young apprentice by over £500 a year on a salary of £12,000, and over £1,000 a year on a salary of £16,000.

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