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The government is set to scrap small and medium-sized employer (SME) co-investment payments for apprentices under the age of 22.

It also plans to increase the amount of funding that can be transferred from apprenticeship levy-payers to other businesses from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

The reforms will come into force from the start of April, prime minister Rishi Sunak is expected to announced this morning.

In a speech to a conference for small businesses, Sunak will say the move will equate to an additional £60 million of new government funding for apprenticeships – presumably the estimated amount it will cost to fully fund SME apprenticeships up to the age of 21.

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