Budget 2021: Further Education and Skills

Yesterday the Chancellor delivered the Budget 2021 with the following implications for Further Education and Skills:

  1. Cash incentives for employers to hire new apprentices doubled

The chancellor said that the bonuses will be extended for a further six months to September and any employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will receive £3,000 per new hire, regardless of the apprentice’s age. This is on top of the £1,000 payment already provided for new apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, meaning that some employers could receive £4,000 in total.

  1. £126m for traineeships

The chancellor said the government will provide an additional £126 million in England for “high quality” work placements and training for 16- to 24-year-olds in the 2021/22 academic year.

This is hoped to attract a further 40,000 traineeship starts next year. It builds on the £111 million the chancellor set aside in 2020/21 to triple the number of traineeships.

  1. ‘Portable’ apprenticeships set to be launched

The government will introduce a £7 million fund from July 2021 to “help employers in England set up and expand portable apprenticeships”.

This will enable people who need to work across multiple projects with different employers, such as in the TV and film industries, to “benefit from the high quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides”.

The Treasury called this scheme “flexi-job” apprenticeships. The first of these are  expected to start in January 2022.

  1. ‘Help to Grow’ scheme for SMEs to upskill

The budget document says the government will offer a new UK-wide management programme to upskill 30,000 small and medium-sized enterprises over three years. It states: “Developed in partnership with industry, the programme will combine a national curriculum delivered through business schools with practical case studies and mentoring from experienced business professionals.

The budget’s costing document shows the government has set aside £60 million for this scheme in 2021-22 and then £75 million for 2022-23.

To find out more about the March Budget 2021 , click here.

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