New measures will unlock greater opportunities for small businesses to benefit from fully funded apprenticeships and upskill their workforce


Following the news that the Government will fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21, there is no one more delighted than HIT Training – the market-leading specialist apprenticeship and training provider for the UK’s hospitality, catering and retail industries.

At a speech to the Business Connect conference, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, announced a range of measures to support small and medium sized employers (SMEs). This consists of £60 million in additional investment to enable up to 20,000 more apprenticeships, including for young people and small businesses.

According to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), over 99% of businesses are SMEs, so they play a vital role in filling the UK’s skills gap and traditionally take on more younger apprentices, as well as those at entry level and from disadvantaged backgrounds. The move will help SMEs recruit more apprentices by reducing costs and enabling more employers to get the skilled workers they need.

Commenting on the news, Mike Worley, Managing Director at HIT Training said:

I’m delighted to hear the announcement that from the 1st April, apprentices aged 21 and under will be fully funded for small employers. Small employers provide many job opportunities and can play a massive part in the growth of the economy.

The new measures will allow larger businesses to transfer a greater proportion of unused apprenticeship levy funds to smaller businesses to make use of. 

Commenting on the move, Mike said:

Increasing the level of funds that large levy-paying employers can transfer to other businesses from 25% to 50% will give small employers further opportunities to build a skilled workforce. These extra funds will go towards apprentice training and support individuals into meaningful and rewarding employment. HIT has championed extra support for small businesses since the levy was launched, and we implore the government to extend this further by funding apprenticeships for all ages in small businesses.

Investing in training and development is crucial for the sector to attract and retain the committed and thriving workforce it needs. The new move will help invest money into the industry while unlocking more opportunities for both young people and older workers looking to move into the hospitality industry through apprenticeships.