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Rishi Sunak set to unveil £126m Budget splurge for traineeships

Tammy Hughes
·2 min read
 (PA)
(PA)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce a £126 million boost for traineeships when he announces his Budget on Wednesday.

Mr Sunak will tell MPs that the funding will enable the creation of 40,000 additional traineeships in England.

At the same time, he will promise to increase the cash incentives for employers who take on an apprentice to £3,000 – regardless of age.

Currently firms can claim £2,000 for each apprentice they hire aged 16 to 24, or £1,500 for those aged 25 and over.

Mr Sunak will also set out plans for new “flexi-job” apprenticeships, enabling trainees to develop their skills with a range of employers within a particular sector.

Instead of having a single employer, they will be linked to an agency that will place them with various relevant organisations.

From July, employers will be able to bid for money from a £7 million fund to create new agencies, with the first apprenticeships expected to start in January 2022.

Ministers believe the scheme is likely to be picked up in sectors with flexible working patterns such as the television and film industries.

The moves come amid concerns that young people have been particularly hard hit by the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Mr Sunak said: “Our plan for jobs has spread opportunity and hope throughout the crisis, helping people back into work and harnessing their talents for the future.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike.”

Association of Colleges chief executive David Hughes welcomed the investment, but said more will be needed.

“It is vital that we continue to find ways to support young people who are amongst those hardest hit by the pandemic, but we must also ensure colleges have the flexibility and funding certainty to be able to meet skills needs more widely over the next few years,” he said.

“These short term measures are helpful, but not sufficient if we are to successfully build back fairer and better.”

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