Spring Statement: £80m support for SME apprenticeships

Phillip Hammond, Chancellor

The Chancellor Phillip Hammond has said in his Spring Statement today, 13 March, that the government is committed to raising skills in the UK.

He revealed that an extra £80 million will be released to help small businesses take on apprentices through the Apprenticeship Levy.

The Apprenticeship Levy was launched last April for large organisations only. But this has lead to criticism that it is too focused on big businesses.

Hammond said: “We recognise the challenges the new system presents to some small business looking to employ an apprentice. I can therefore announce today that the education secretary will release up to £80 million of funding to support small businesses in engaging apprentices.”

Hammond also said that there may be more money for public services in the autumn if improvements to the economy continue. He said: "If, in the autumn, the public finances continue to reflect the improvements that today’s report hints at, then, in accordance with our balanced approach – and using the flexibility provided by the fiscal rules – I would have the capacity to enable further increases in public spending and investment in the years ahead while continuing to drive value for money to ensure that not a single penny of precious taxpayers’ money is wasted.”

Watch the full statement here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz6sEt5_cZU