Industry News

Government unveils package to boost apprenticeships

The government will fully-fund apprenticeships in small businesses from 1 April by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21. 

The move is underpinned by an additional £60m of new government funding for next year, guaranteeing that where there is demand for apprenticeships from businesses, the government will ensure there is enough funding to deliver them.   

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses to develop the skills they need, and these new measures will help more businesses and young people benefit from them. 

“Our plan to deliver a high-growth, high-skilled economy is working, with more opportunities available to young people than ever before.” 

Martin McTague, National Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, added: “Apprenticeships are an effective way of allowing small firms to recruit and up-skill talented people and these measures are a positive way to bolster the number of businesses taking on apprentices.”

The government also unveiled a new industry-led Invest in Women Taskforce to unlock private investment in female business leaders. 

The core aim of the taskforce is to raise a bespoke funding pot for female-founded businesses through private capital and address the wider challenges that female entrepreneurs specifically face to help unlock their potential to establish and grow their enterprises.  

The new taskforce will be industry led and co-chaired by entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow and Barclay’s Hannah Bernard, with Small Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake, representing the government. The membership of the taskforce will be set out in due course.  

Hannah Bernard, Co-Chair of the Invest in Women taskforce and Head of Business Banking at Barclays UK, said: “I believe that the key to the UK’s growth will be enabling every single entrepreneur in this country to thrive; female entrepreneurs face significantly higher barriers to get their businesses the support and investment they need, from seed funding for start-ups, through to the challenges of gaining scale-up investment.” 

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