Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to scrap employers’ national insurance payments for young apprentices has been welcomed in Lancashire.
Experts said the move was likely to encourage bosses to give young people a vital start in their careers.
Claire Foreman, deputy principal at Runshaw College, Leyland, said: “We are hopeful that this pledge will inspire more employers to recruit an apprentice as not having to make National Insurance Contributions may be a deciding factor as to whether to recruit someone younger or older.
“With unemployment down and ambitions for three million apprentices to be recruited during the next parliament, this announcement is a positive step towards encouraging businesses to bring fresh talent into the company and develop the skilled workers of the future.”
Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Abolishing employer’s National Insurance for young apprentices will encourage many businesses to hire them, by reducing the costs of employment and additional training.
“Our research shows that 54 per cent of firms say funding for training and support would encourage them to hire more young people, which is why we have called for increased financial support for employers hiring apprentices.”
Mr Osborne made the announcement during his autumn statement on Wednesday, in which he revealed a full review of the business rates system, and his ambition to create a “northern powerhouse”.
Investment in new rolling stock for rail franchises in the north of England has also been announced.
It means the Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine Express routes will see the current “pacer” trains replaced.