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Last week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond delivered his spring budget speech. On the government’s website, the budget’s main concerns include investment in the NHS, adult social care, technical education and 5G technology, to name but a few. But what does the spring budget mean for HR and the workplace?
The spring budget outlined a £500m investment into technical education for 16 to 19 year olds that will see the introduction of new T-levels in autumn 2019. Young people will be able to choose from 15 different routes, which range from digital to construction to agriculture. The new T-levels have been designed to create a future workforce for technically-skilled jobs, and students on these courses will carry out high-quality work placements to ensure they are ready to enter the workforce once the course is complete. While this investment will certainly create a skilled workforce for the future, it doesn’t address the serious skills gap that numerous businesses are facing today. This is definitely something for HR departments to look out for over the next few years.
Hammond’s budget has also addressed returnships for those who have had a break in their career. £5m will be invested in this towards helping bridge the gap back into work, with an emphasis on assisting women re-joining the workforce after having children. This is set to be a great source of support not only for those looking to get back into work and explore different career routes, but also for businesses who will benefit from these individuals.
Working parents will soon have access to tax-free childcare support, Hammond announced. The budget outlined a new tax-free childcare scheme in the form of an online account which you can pay into to cover the cost of childcare with a registered provider. For every 80p paid into the scheme, the government will pay in an additional 20p. To qualify, parents must be earning at least £115 a week and no more than £100,000 per year. The government can contribute up to £2,000 a year for each child under 12, or £4,000 per year for children with disabilities up to the age of 17. The scheme is designed to provide more affordable childcare, while also allowing more parents the opportunity to go back into the workforce.
These are just some aspects of the spring budget which HR departments and employers must consider. If you would like any advice about the spring budget, or any other HR or employment matters, please get in touch with the P3 People Management team, or connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
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