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Blog: A welcome boost for SMEs


During this year’s spring statement, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced that the government would be releasing £80million from the existing Department for Education (DfE) apprenticeship budget for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

The government kick-started its apprenticeship plans by setting itself an ambitions target and committing to increasing the uptake of apprenticeships to three million by 2020.

The new funding announcement has been a long time coming for SMEs and should be welcomed by companies who haven’t previously had access to any funding.

Here are five reasons to welcome this initiative:

  1. The Apprenticeship Levy previously eliminated SMEs from access to direct funding as it was set up only for large employers with a pay bill of over £3million. There has since been an introduction for Levy paying organisations to transfer their funds over to other companies. This encouraged companies to share Levy funding between subsidiaries or companies that are part of a group, meaning the focus was still aimed at large organisations. The introduction of this new £80million funding for SMEs will mean that support is now available to build a stronger workforce throughout all businesses at any size.
  2. Funding will mean SMEs have the ability to increase productivity by employing new members of staff within their workforce and have more scope to invest in their future employees for the long term.
  3. Smaller organisations will be able to tailor their training needs to enhance their businesses and ensure training is specific to their needs.
  4. SMEs struggling to find people with the right skills set can now take on employees with potential to succeed because they have the funding and support available to educate them to a high level.
  5. Apprenticeship funding can be spent on employees at all ages which means companies can bring in new starters whilst developing existing staff. This is an opportunity to upskill staff at all levels and is not just for school leavers.

For further information about available apprenticeship funding contact us on or call us on 01772 430004.

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