Driving quality apprenticeships across the life sciences – apprenticeship levy & other tax incentives for SMEs

Access to diverse talent is fundamental to innovative life sciences and biotech sector. The Bioindustry Association (BIA) has consulted SME membership and larger corporations on the current apprenticeship system and has used its breadth of knowledge in the sector’s talent landscape to inform this document.

Attracting and retaining apprentices to develop their knowledge skills and behaviours within life science SMEs has been a particular challenge overcome by the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC).

BIA has consulted with employers on what financial adjustments could be made for apprentices, employers, and training providers.

A summary includes:

  • Incentivise the life sciences apprenticeship training provider market to deliver quality and choice
  • Reduce complexity of the apprenticeship system to benefit SMEs and sponsor dedicated sector support
  • An ‘Apprentice Starting Loan’ covering relocation and initial travel to life sciences clusters
  • Financial incentives to ensure SME employers benefit from taking on apprentices
  • Allocation of apprenticeship levy to support ‘branding’ for SMEs
  • Completion incentive payments to encourage SMEs to develop progression pathways
  • Additional funding to ensure SME apprentices access the same training opportunities
  • Fund training of first-line leaders in management of young people in the workplace

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