BESA has released details of a raft of new Government’s measures to help employers take on more apprentices, including £60 million to be spent on helping young people from deprived backgrounds get into work.
The association says that employers with less than 50 employees will receive 100% of the cost of training apprentices aged between 16 and 18. This will also be the case if they take on 19 to 24-year-olds who were in care or 19 to 24-year-olds with an education and health care plan.
The Government also confirmed that only 2% of employers will pay into the Apprenticeship Levy – those with payrolls of more than £3 million – and that the remaining 98% will receive 90% of apprenticeship training costs from May 2017. It claimed that by 2020, government spending on apprenticeships in England will be double the level they were at the start of the decade.
Director of Training at the Building Engineering Services Association, Tony Howard, commented: “This is the news we have been waiting for. Employers need certainty about future funding provision so they can plan their recruitment strategies and this provides welcome reassurance.”
He said the Association had lobbied for the start date to be brought forward from next May in order to start plugging the widening skills gap across the building engineering sector, however he did accept that it was now important to “get on with the job of creating the next generation of skilled workers”.
Mr Howard also welcomed the fact that particular focus had been placed on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) apprenticeship frameworks.
The funding available for these subjects has been increased to reflect their greater complexity and the need to improve quality. The government has also simplified the funding model and built in greater flexibility so employers will now have two years to access the funds in their digital training accounts.