The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended cash incentives for hiring new apprentices as part of a £500 million jobs support package. Bonuses of £3,000 for every apprentice a business hires ended in September, but Mr Sunak has prolonged the scheme by four months until the 31st January 2022.
A progress report for the Plan for Jobs was published last month and revealed that “more than 85,000 apprentices have been newly hired under our new incentive payments”. Funding for around 100,000 new starts was set aside in the Plan for Jobs. The cash incentives were first introduced by the Chancellor in August 2020 and offered firms £2,000 to take on apprentices aged 16 to 24, while those that employ new apprentices aged 25 and over are paid £1,500. They were increased to £3,000 for all apprentices in February.
“The importance of creating the best career opportunities and life chances for everyone cannot be overstated. We will all depend on a healthy economy in future whether working or not. This decision is definitely to be welcomed. It offers employers who may have been unable to commit to strengthening their teams by offering places to apprentices before, another chance to do the smart thing.”Barry Hilton, Managing Director, Mercuri International UK – Apprenticeships