13 March 2018

UKFast apprentices - the choice between apprenticeship and university

Some of UKFast’s apprentices learning while earning. It’s great to hear of the government’s latest investment in apprenticeships.

It was great to hear such a positive, upbeat statement from the Chancellor earlier this afternoon when he made his Spring Statement.

I certainly welcome the work the government is doing to support innovation and entrepreneurship, so to hear Hammond say that the government is backing entrepreneurship is particularly encouraging.

It’s also encouraging to hear that there is going to be consultation on US tech giants’ tax affairs. For me though, the government’s line still doesn’t feel strong enough.

I am incredibly proud to pay tax on the revenue we generate. I know that it directly contributes to the UK economy, so I can’t help but find the government’s inaction on tech tax baffling. Particularly so while they award them (Amazon Web Services in particular) massive contracts to provide technology.

If all UK entrepreneurs took advantage of the tax rules that apply to these off-shore businesses, Britain would collapse. It’s the tax-paying SMEs that prop this country up. At present, the UK taxpayer is being taken for a ride by the tax affairs of these companies. We really need action on this issue as a matter of urgency.

With rumours circulating that both the EU and UK are to introduce a tax on revenue rather than profit for these multinationals, time will tell if the government really does level the playing field for us British firms who are proud to contribute to the broader economy.

Another positive for the economy

Equally positive was the news of further investment in apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are undoubtedly an essential tool for us to plug the skills gap and aid our struggling productivity levels.

The £80m investment to support smaller businesses in taking on apprentices is a hugely positive step. Apprenticeships are perhaps the most effective way to deliver work-ready technical skills and plug the digital skills gap.

The Spring Statement was unquestionably more of a light step than spring forward. Whilst it was a fairly sparse statement, there is no denying the positives that can be taken from Hammond’s announcement.

What did you take from the Spring Statement? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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