Apprentices: Small Businesses

Department for Education written question – answered on 25 May 2018.

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Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage more SMEs to take on apprentices in (a) Kent, (b) Medway and (c) Gillingham and Rainham constituency.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton Minister of State (Education)

Smaller employers that do not pay the apprenticeship levy benefit from co-investment with 90 per cent of training and assessment costs for apprenticeships provided by government. For the smallest employers, those with fewer than 50 employees, 100 per cent of the training costs are covered for apprentices who are either 16 to 18-years old, 19 to 24-year-old care leavers or 19 to 24-year olds with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Through our recent procurement to deliver apprenticeship training to non-levy payers (including smaller employers), we gave hundreds of providers across the country initial awards totalling around £490 million covering the period from January 2018 to April 2019. In April 2018, we awarded a further £68.6 million to 142 providers, including providers in Kent, Medway, Gillingham and Rainham.

Levy-paying employers are now able to transfer up to 10 per cent of funds to other employers, including smaller employers in their supply chain. This means that smaller organisations who may have previously felt that employing an apprentice was beyond their reach, will now have the opportunity to do so.

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