Autumn Statement: what does it mean for apprenticeships?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne gave his annual Autumn Statement to Parliament on 3rd December 2014.

To make it cheaper to employ young people, from April 2016, employers will not have to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs) for all but the highest earning apprentices aged under 25. It said employers of around 500,000 apprentices would be exempt from paying NI contributions on introduction of the new rules.

The Autumn Statement also included a commitment of £20m to improve careers advice and support for young people.

CITB chief executive Adrian Belton said: Today’s abolition of National Insurance on apprenticeships and £20m investment for careers advice for young people are a real boost for employers looking to invest in young people. The priority now for industry and government is to make apprenticeships simpler, ensure providers respond to needs and create a simpler framework for engaging with schools.”

Stephen Jeffery, Chief Executive of training and skills organisation London Learning Consortium, says: “This is a positive step forward in supporting businesses and those in learning at work. I hope these changes provide encouragement to small and third sector employers to take on young people either as apprentices or trainees.”