Employment groups welcome decision to abolish NI charges for firms hiring apprentices

Employers and employment groups have welcomed the government’s decision to abolish all national insurance (NI) charges on taking on apprentices under 25.

The announcement was made on 3rd December when Chancellor George Osborne delivered his autumn statement.

PwC employment tax partner John Harding said: “[It] will enable employers to invest the savings they make in national insurance in training and development or even more jobs. For an employer with 100 apprentices earning around £22,500 a year, the overall saving to the company could exceed £200,000 per year.”

Association of Employment and Learning Providers CEO Stewart Segal also welcomed the move. He said: “To help further bring down unemployment, we are calling for the next step to be an NIC exemption applied in respect of all previously unemployed apprentices taken on by an employer.”

City & Guilds praised both the policy on apprenticeships and the decision to offer loans to postgraduate students. Chief executive Chris Jones said: “It is crucial that the government continues to work with education providers and businesses to ensure we are developing the skills that our economy needs.”

Managing director Kirstie Donnelly hopes these loans will be made available for those on higher-level vocational courses. She said: “The government’s focus is quite obviously on young people, but it’s also important that older people who are looking to re-train and re-skill receive support. In a world where the nature of work is changing, we need to be looking at developing the skills of everyone – not just those under the age of 30.”