Nigel Morris, tax director at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, says the government’s £1,000 payment to employers does little to incentivise taking on apprentices.

“Any support for job creation is welcome, but the amount is trifling when time, training and wages are factored in.

“Even before the Covid-19 crisis, SME uptake of the apprenticeship levy scheme was falling, because it tends to be more expensive than private training. HM Treasury had outlined plans in the March 2020 Budget to review the scheme to ensure it benefited employers of all sizes, and promised sufficient funding. This longer-term certainty remains much needed.

“The sticking plaster of a £1,000 isn’t sufficient, employers need confidence that the scheme is sustainable and the funding pot won’t run dry.”