Reaction to Budget 2021

“Today, The Chancellor has made several important announcements as part of the 2021 budget. The Job Retention Scheme's extension is significant, given the challenges faced by key economic sectors and employers across the UK. It was, however, mostly a continuity budget concerning skills policy with the Chancellor re-announcing previous government announcements on Restart, Kickstart and Lifetime Skills Guarantee initiatives. It was, however, good to see the Chancellor commit to doubling employer incentives for taking on new apprentices. The take up of these incentive payments has been lower than anticipated, and so more generous payments could be a useful mechanism to boost demand for apprenticeships.

There are encouraging signs that the Office of Budget Responsibility projects the economy to recover faster than anticipated; however, there is no doubt of the scale of challenges that lie ahead. Skills and colleges will be at the heart of economic recovery efforts by helping people into productive and sustainable employment. This is why today we have published a document: "Colleges and employability," showcasing case studies from across the Collab Group network. These case studies demonstrate the critical role that colleges will play to support people into work and revitalise local economies. Colleges will be indispensable to deliver on the Chancellors commitment to a green and inclusive economic recovery: read more here.

Ian Pretty, Collab Group CEO

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