15 March 2019

Yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, presented his spring statement. While it was massively overshadowed by the votes on Brexit, the statement confirmed that the 10% fee that small businesses pay when they take on apprentices aged 19 or over will halve from 1 April 2019.

Small businesses with less than 50 employees who take on 16-18 year olds or those aged 19-24 who have been in care, or who have a local authority care plan do not pay anything towards the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment. This will continue unchanged.

What does that mean for salons?
In January this year, changes to funding bands meant cash contributions for employers of older apprentices on the hair professional Trailblazer standards went down from £900 to £700. Yesterday’s announcement means that the cash contribution will go down again to £350 on 1 April 2019 for new starters.

Employers of apprentices on the beauty professional Trailblazer standards at level 2 will also see cash contributions go down on 1 April:

Beauty therapist Reduced from £700 to £350
Beauty and make-up consultation Reduced from £300 to £150
Nail services technician Reduced from £350 to £175

Hilary Hall, NHBF chief executive commented, 

“We’re delighted that our campaign to reduce the cost of apprenticeships for small business employers has been successful. 

“We’re delighted that our campaign to reduce the cost of apprenticeships for small business employers has been successful. Although the reductions were announced in the Autumn Budget, no start date was given, leading some employers to delay apprenticeship starts. Many salons are put off from employing older apprentices, so this reduction is good news, but of course there are still the higher minimum wage costs to pay for anyone aged 19 or over once they have completed the first year of their apprenticeship.”

The spring statement also confirmed the government’s commitment to T-levels, the new technical qualifications for those aged 16 and above. They are two-year technical programmes set at level 3 which include a work placement of 45-60 days. It is expected there will be T-levels for hairdressing, beauty therapy and barbering.