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Tax credits would incentivise apprenticeships

I believe that corporate tax breaks would encourage more businesses to take on more apprenticeships. Especially in medium sized companies. 

The fact is that the UK still lags behind many of our European competitors who have a young talent pool that improves productivity. In Germany apprenticeships are the norm, there has to be a correlation between this behaviour and their economic success.

Here in the UK more that 70% of UK employers do not offer any apprenticeships. That’s despite the National Audit Office suggesting that for every £1 invested in an apprenticeship adds £18 to our economy.

I am not suggesting subsidising what companies should already be doing but we need a sensible approach to change behaviour and we need to do more to support SMEs to get behind training young people.

And this needs to be backed up with a national campaign in schools to really promote the value that an apprenticeship can add to your career. 

The world of work is fast changing and experience is as valuable as a university degree. We need the next generation to receive a clear message that employers value apprenticeships.

And I should know. I started my career as an apprentice in the electronics industry. My start grounded me with practical experience. I am proud to say I was an apprentice. 

What makes a good Apprenticeship programme?

Social Mobility: Don’t recruit from a narrow talent pool. Cast you net wide and help young people to discover more opportunity.

Pay a wage to be proud of: At Fujitsu we pay our apprentices well above the minimum rate. It’s shocking that some apprentices are paid a minimum of £2.65 an hour. The UK must grow a generation inspired to work not believe a benefit option is best.

Lead by example: Lets promote role models who are now in senior roles who started as apprentices. 

Share the learning: Large organisations should open up their own apprenticeship scheme to their supply chain to help de-risk employing apprentices for a smaller business.

It’s about being clear on what’s good for Britain 
What’s clear is that 1 million unemployed young people will not get Britain’s economy moving again. We can’t sit back and do nothing. A simple tax credit for taking on an apprentice would be measurable and have a direct economic benefit. I see this as an investment by Government in British talent - not a subsidy. I believe we need to get young people believing they are part of this countries success. 

-ends-

Gavin Bounds
About the Author

Gavin Bounds

Chief Operating Officer at Fujitsu UK & Ireland

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