The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that the recent National Insurance tax increase could have a negative impact on UK apprenticeships. The increase, which was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in September, will see employers pay an additional 1.25% in National Insurance contributions from April 2022.
The FSB has expressed concern that the tax increase will make it more expensive for small businesses to take on apprentices, which could lead to a reduction in the number of apprenticeships available. This is particularly worrying given the government’s target of creating 600,000 new apprenticeships by 2024.
The FSB has called on the government to provide additional support for small businesses to help them cope with the increased costs. This could include measures such as a reduction in business rates or an increase in funding for apprenticeship schemes.
The FSB has also highlighted the importance of apprenticeships in helping to address the UK’s skills gap. Apprenticeships provide young people with valuable training and work experience, which can help them to secure employment in the future. They also provide businesses with a pipeline of skilled workers, which is essential for the UK’s economic growth.
The FSB’s warning comes at a time when the UK is facing a number of challenges, including the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. It is therefore essential that the government takes action to support small businesses and ensure that they are able to continue to provide apprenticeships.
In conclusion, the FSB’s warning highlights the potential negative impact of the National Insurance tax increase on UK apprenticeships. It is essential that the government provides additional support for small businesses to help them cope with the increased costs and ensure that they are able to continue to provide valuable apprenticeship opportunities. This will be crucial in helping to address the UK’s skills gap and support the country’s economic growth in the years ahead.