The Treasury has announced the next increase in minimum wage for apprentices will be next April, with the rate going up from £4.15 to £4.30 an hour. This is the second raise in as many years, with the £4.15 rate only set in 2020. Before this, the last increase was from £3.70 to £3.90, back in the 2018 Budget. An increase in the 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.
The change in national minimum wage for apprentices comes alongside increases for all other age groups too. For 21 to 22-year-olds it increases to £8.22 an hour, for 18 to 20-year olds it will increase to £6.56 an hour and for 16-17 year olds it will increase to £4.62 an hour. The national living wage for everyone aged over 23 has also increased from £8.72 to £8.91. These increases will all take place at the beginning of the new financial year in April 2021.
Improving the Way Apprenticeships work for Business
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also confirmed in his most recent spending review statement that the government will “improve the way the apprenticeship system works for business”. The first step in this process is the extension of the cash bonus scheme for hiring apprentices which will now be in place until March 2021, rather than ending in January.
Worrying figures from the Department of Education shows that Coronavirus has negatively impacted apprentices like most other areas of work and business, so it is especially welcome that the government as looking for ways to help employers bring new apprentices into their firms.
It is impossible to ignore the damage Coronavirus has done the economy and the jobs market, and there are many young people looking for their dream job or a chance to try out a career area they are interested in finding out more about. Apprentices are keen to learn and develop, making them loyal employees and a great investment for the future.
The combination of incentives for employers and the wage increase for the apprentices themselves should be a step towards increasing apprenticeship uptake. As this happens, more employers will realise just how valuable apprentices can be and how businesses can benefit from fresh talent as well as employees who are completely versed in your business’ way of working for the future.
For more information about the apprenticeship incentives and how to hire apprentices for your company, get in touch with us today.