Department for Education written question – answered on 20th January 2023.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to encourage employers to take on apprentices between the ages of 16 and 24.
In the 2021/22 academic year, there were 183,850 apprenticeship starts by those aged under 25. This represents 52.6% of all starts and is an increase of 15% when compared with the 2020/21 academic year.
The department wants to see more young people undertaking and benefiting from high-quality apprenticeships. The government is increasing funding for apprenticeships in England to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year to support more employers across the country to offer new apprenticeship opportunities. As part of this, we continue to provide £1,000 payments to both employers and training providers when they take on apprentices aged under 19, or 19 to 24, who have an Education, Health and Care Plan or have been in care.
The department recognises the important role that small and medium-sized employers (SMEs) play in creating apprenticeship opportunities, particularly for young people and those in disadvantaged areas. We contribute 95% of the cost of training and assessment for SMEs who do not pay the apprenticeship levy for up to 10 apprentices a year, and we fund 100% of the training and assessment costs for the smallest employers when they take on apprentices aged 16 to 18.
We are also supporting young people in schools and colleges to consider apprenticeships through our Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge programme. This free service provides resources and interventions to help better educate young people about apprenticeships by giving them up-to-date information on the options available. In addition, the new ‘Career Starter Apprenticeships’ campaign is raising awareness of apprenticeships which offer great opportunities for those looking for their first role after leaving full-time education
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