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Budget makes apprenticeships more affordable than ever for small business


In a move welcomed by businesses and training organisations alike, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has reduced the amount non-levy paying organisations have to pay towards the cost of Apprenticeships.

In the last Budget came the news that Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) will now only pay 5% contribution rather than a 10% one. In May this was implemented.

Philip Hammond hopes the move will encourage recent growth in Apprentice numbers and meet the government’s target of 3 million new Apprenticeships by 2020.

Although Swatpro partners have reported growing demand for the Apprenticeships they provide, across British industry concern has been expressed that take-up on such training has flagged since the target was set in 2015.

However, numbers have looked more positive in 2018, and analysts believe the Chancellor’s announcement will encourage further growth.

In the South-West, Swatpro partners have found the collaborative approach of belonging to an umbrella organisation that shares experience and disseminates best practice, is business focussed, has kept demand for Apprenticeships high.

Nonetheless, the reduced contribution will be a further opportunity for smaller businesses to take advantage of the high-quality, specialist training offered across many disciplines to Apprentices by Swatpro partners.

Swatpro Chief Executive Rod Davis said the news was positive.

“We have found that businesses have embraced the Apprenticeship changes, albeit reluctantly. The news of the reduction to 5% investment for non-levy businesses is fantastic.

“In my experience businesses want to offer apprenticeships to their staff and to new recruits and now, for some, this is again in their reach,” he added.

Budget makes apprenticeships more affordable than ever for small business