SME cap on apprenticeship starts reset again to 0

The decision follows mounting pressure from the sector

The decision follows mounting pressure from the sector

The cap on apprenticeship starts for small and medium-sized employers has been reset to zero again following pressure from the sector.

From today any non-levy paying business can start up to 10 new apprentices regardless of the number they currently employ. The cap will then be kept under review.

The decision, announced this afternoon by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, comes weeks after an FE Week investigation revealed how SMEs were being forced to turn apprentices away after reaching the previous 10 starts limit that had been in place since April 1, 2021.

An ESFA update said: “This reset will give employers who do not pay the levy greater certainty over their recruitment plans for the year ahead. It is made in recognition of the important role that SMEs play in creating apprenticeship opportunities, particularly for younger people and those in disadvantaged areas.”

Any reservations made before June 1, 2022 will not be affected and will not count against the new reservation levels from this date, the agency added.

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