BCC calls on firms to hire apprentices

The British Chambers of Commerce is encouraging businesses to use the start of the new tax year to hire more apprentices.

Today sees a number of tax changes come into effect including the abolishing of employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25. In addition, the Annual Employment Allowance rises from £2,000 to £3,000.

Other changes include the reduction of Capital Gains Tax rates from 28% and 18% to 20% and 10% respectively and the replacement of the Dividend Tax Credit with a Dividend Tax Allowance of £5,000 a year.

“Abolishing employer contributions will encourage more businesses to hire young apprentices at a time when the UK is faced with a growing skills shortage,” says Dr Adam Marshall, BCC Acting Director General. “The rise in the Annual Employment Allowance is a boost for small and start-up businesses because it means that the less National Insurance that companies have to pay, the more confidence they will have to hire new staff. We would also like to see more consideration for companies that keep young people on beyond their apprenticeship, at which point the full contribution would kick in.”

On Capital Gains Tax changes Marshall added: “The cuts in capital gains tax will help to encourage entrepreneurial risk-taking in some of our most dynamic young firms.”