Ambassadors welcome PM pledge for 20,000 new apprenticeships

March 18, 2024

The North East Apprenticeships Ambassador Network (NEAAN) has welcomed reforms and funding announced today by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Co-Chair of the NEEAN, Ian Green, said that the announcement was a “shot in the arm for firms” looking to create or expand apprentice opportunities and will help demystify the levy process, which has caused a great deal of consternation since its introduction.

“Boardrooms across the UK are full of talented individuals who learned their trade as keen young apprentices,” said Ian. “They are the people who power business and industry and inspire others to explore the undoubted opportunity that apprenticeships offer, so it makes sense for the PM to put his faith in recruiting new apprentices to help restart the UK economy and drive us out of recession.

“The £60m announced at the weekend will reassure those businesses that are closely monitoring budgets and maybe holding back on investment in such a volatile economic climate, and for the Government to cover the full cost of apprenticeships for under-21s in SMEs is superb.”

Fellow NEAAN Co-Chair, Jenienne Hinchcliffe, added: “There are some really positive elements to the PM’s announcement, not least the recognition that an SME can have up to 500 members of staff, which will really help us convince businesses of this size to engage more in the apprenticeship agenda.

“The changes to simplify the apprenticeship levy will also be welcomed by businesses. Currently the levy is paid by large firms to help create more apprenticeship places, but millions of pounds is currently going unspent and being returned to the Treasury. Allowing firms to share up to 50% of unspent funds with other businesses is something we’ve lobbied for for a while now, so to see that recognised is important.”

Link to announcement: Govt apprenticeships reform


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