Budget 2021 - Government announces increase in National Apprenticeship Wage.

As part of a package of funding for skills and education, the Chancellor announced a significant increase in funding for apprenticeships as part of the Budget 2021.

From April 2022, the national minimum wage for apprentices will increase from £4.30 to £4.81 per hour. The 51p increase equates to an 11.9 per cent rise and is in line with a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission.

Apprentices are entitled to this rate if they are:

· Aged under 19

· Aged 19 or over and are in the first year of their Apprenticeship

Once completed their first year and if 19 or over they are then entitled to the minimum hourly rate of the National Minimum Wage for their age.

As part of this package of funding, the Government is planning to introduce an enhanced recruitment service to support SMEs in finding new apprentices. The spending increase on skills will include £550 million for the national skills fund and has been earmarked to quadruple the number of places on the government’s flagship skills bootcamps, expand the level 3 adult offer and pay for 24,000 more traineeships per year.

The Chancellor has also extended the £3,000 apprentice hiring incentive to the end of January 2022 (it was due to end on the 30th November 2021). By the end of the spending review period, 2024/25, the apprenticeships budget will have increased to £2.7 billion, a £170 million increase. The Treasury says this will pay for “new improvements to support more small businesses to hire new apprentices”.

Businesses are being urged to take full advantage of fiscal incentives and reliefs to aid their recovery as the economy rebounds from the pandemic and growth forecasts show signs of improvement. An increase in the minimum wage helps to ensure potential apprentices are kept interested and drawn to the scheme, and it may help more young people consider apprenticeships after finishing school.

For up-to-date information on the National Minimum Wage rates for all ages, visit the .gov website.

To learn more about apprenticeship incentives and how to hire apprentices for your company, get in touch with us today.

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