Autumn Budget 2018
The Chancellor has presented his Autumn 2018 Budget to Parliament yesterday (29 October 2018). The government has announced a package of measures to support business in order to boost skills, growth, and prosperity. The impact of the budget on apprenticeships is briefly summarised below.
- The financial contribution which smaller firms have to make towards the cost of apprenticeship training will fall from 10% to 5%, following extensive lobbying by the training providers lobby group AELP, the CBI, and others. The change is from April 2019.
- The Apprenticeship Minimum Wage is to go up from April 2019 to £3.90 from the current £3.70 (a higher percentage rise than other Minimum Wages).
The Chancellor also re-announced three things at the party conference which include
- Levy-paying companies will be able to transfer up to 25% of their unspent Levy pots, instead of the current 10%
- The IfA is to get an increase in its budget of £5m to help get new Standards approved faster
- There will be a government review of how the Apprenticeship Levy is working.
The total Treasury package provides as £695m boost for apprenticeships
The Chancellor re-announced that he has boosted the budget for the National Retraining Scheme to £100m. However, It is not a programme open to all sectors, with the initial focus on two or three sectors including construction, unless anything changes there is no benefit for the maritime sector.
Perhaps the most interesting announcement on skills was the focussed and localised intervention of a £3m pilot to help employers in Greater Manchester and surrounding areas to address local digital skills gaps through short training courses. A good example of government willingness to provide localised funding on presentation of a compelling case study.