Author Archives: Matt Webb

People with Significant Control: Changes

You may already be aware from our previous post on this topic, that since April 2016 all companies and LLP’s have been required to maintain a register of People with Significant Control (PSC), containing information relating to individuals or entities who exert, or are in a position to exert, influence or control over that company.

Since the 30th June 2016 it became a requirement for PSC details to be submitted to Companies House as part of the annual Confirmation Statement, hence becoming the means by which any changes, additions or removals from the company’s or LLP’s PSC register are notified to Companies House.

The rules on the notification of changes to a company’s or LLP’s PSC information have now changed; these changes came into effect on the 26th June 2017 in order to comply with the EU Fourth Money Laundering Directive

With immediate effect, you will now need to notify Companies House if you have:

  • A new PSC
  • A change to existing PSC details (e,g. statements, residence, change of address etc)
  • An individual who ceases to be a PSC

In total you will have just 28 days to notify Companies House of any of the above changes from the date they occur. 14 days to record the changes in your company’s PSC register and a further 14 days after this to inform Companies house.

You can use the Companies House Web-filing service to report these changes, or if you prefer, download and complete the relevant forms from their website (PSC01-09, or LLPSC01-09)

We are here to help, so should you have any queries regarding the points raised in this article, please feel free to get in touch

Childcare Schemes

The Government are introducing two new Childcare schemes within 2017; Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare. Through a single online application service called The Childcare Service you can apply for either or both of these schemes, .

There are differing criteria for each scheme, and while the two new schemes can be used alongside each other, there are certain other schemes or benefits which they are not compatible with. To qualify for the schemes, both parents must be in work and earning on average, at least £115 per week but not more than £100,000 per year.

Tax-Free Childcare
This scheme works by utilising a childcare account. Provided you qualify for the scheme a childcare account will be set-up for you and for every £8 you pay into the account the government will pay an additional £2 on top. The total top-up amount per child is upto £2,000 per year.

You cannot sign up for Tax-Free Childcare if you are using childcare vouchers, or in receipt of Universal Credit or tax credits.

In order to pay your childcare provider using your childcare account your provider must also be registered within the scheme.

30 Hours Free Childcare
From September 2017, working parents of 3-4 year olds may be entitled to an extra 15 hours of free childcare per week. Every 3-4 year old in England is already entitled to 15hrs a week, however under this new scheme the total hours can be extended to 30hrs per week.

Brexit – One month on

We are now one month on from ‘Brexit’ and the UK voting to leave the European Union. While there is still a large level of uncertainty regarding our country’s economic future, a particular concern for our county is the future availability of grant funding.

This uncertainty is likely set to remain at least until the government triggers Article 50 and begins the negotiation process to bring us out of the European Union entirely.

So far it’s “Business as usual”

Despite this overall level of uncertainty, we have not seen much, and it has not been reported back to us that there has been much, in the way of an adverse effect to current trading. So far it all seems to be “business as usual” how long this will stay the case remains to be seen.

Contact us if you have any concerns

If you have any concerns over Brexit and its short/long-term impact on your business we recommend that you contact us as we can help you plan and monitor your business’s performance in these uncertain times by providing assistance with discussing your business strategy, preparing budgets and forecasts and preparing up-to-date accurate management information with comparisons to your budgets.

Concerns clearly remain over grant funding with both the Cornwall County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership lobbying government to try and provide some measure of security, however, it should be noted that grant funding is still available in the interim. We recommend that you contact us if you have any queries or concerns regarding your current funding or if you were considering grant funding as an option.

People with Significant Control

We would like to make you aware of new changes to the law that came into effect from 06 April 2016 and have a direct impact on companies and LLPs.

From this date companies and LLPs will be required to create and maintain a register of people with significant control (PSC) that needs to be kept with the statutory registers of the company. This register will contain information relating to individuals or entities who exert, or are in a position to exert, influence or control over that company;

We have included a link to a PDF report containing Guidance for PSCs and which note the following;

A PSC is an individual who meets any one or more of the following conditions in relation to a company:

  • Directly or indirectly holding more than 25% of the shares (sections 5.1 and 5.4)5,
  • Directly or indirectly holding more than 25% of the voting rights (sections 5.2 and 5.4),
  • Directly or indirectly holding the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors (sections 5.3 and 5.4),
  • Otherwise having the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant influence or control (section 5.5),
  • Having the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant influence or control over the activities of a trust or firm which is not a legal entity, but would itself satisfy any of the first four conditions if it were an individual (section 5.6).

You might find it easy to identify your interest in a company and determine whether you are a PSC, or your situation might be more complex and need clarification between you and the company. Some companies will not have anyone who meets the conditions, whereas other companies will have several people who meet one or more of the conditions and are PSCs (all of whom must be on the PSC register).

Please note that from 30 June 2016 companies and LLPs will have to deliver this information to Companies House in a Confirmation Statement (which is replacing the Annual Return)

The Gov.uk website provides full guidance notes on identifying PSCs and creating the register;

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us on 01872 271655 or via our Contact Page

FRS 102: Change in accounting standards

UK GAAP to FRSSE 15, early adoption of FRS 102 Section 1A or FRS 102

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has replaced UK GAAP (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice) with effect from periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015.

Now we are into 2016 we have been working hard to complete the first sets of accounts where a mandatory change is required, however, there are a number of options to consider when applying the new accounting standards for the first time;

  • Apply FRSSE 15 (Financial reporting standard for smaller entities), which replaces FRSSE 2008. This is only available for “small” companies for one year, being periods commencing 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015, after which a change to FRS 102 or FRS 102 Section 1A (as discussed below) is required.
  • Apply FRS 102 (Financial reporting standard 102 – The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland).
  • Early adopt FRS 102 Section 1A. This is only available for “small” companies.

There are a number of issues to consider when choosing the correct standard to adopt and we have found in the majority of cases, particularly for our owner managed businesses, that it is more beneficial to early adopt FRS102 Section 1A or FRS 102 (if applicable) now rather than take a staggered approach, this being due to discrepancies in the treatment of certain items under FRSSE 15 compared to FRS 102 especially concerning Goodwill.

Where did all the abbreviated accounts go?

There is no option to file abbreviated accounts under FRS102 this has been replaced with “abridged accounts”. When filing abridged accounts there is the option to remove the profit and loss account, however, the full notes to the accounts are now required to be submitted, which means there will be an increase in the level of information available about the business, which is in the public domain.

Key changes arising from FRS 102

We previously noted the key changes arising from FRS102, you can look back on this article and details of these changes in the post Financial Reporting Standar -FRS102

If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01872 271655

Paying HMRC

A question we get asked quite regularly is “How do I pay HMRC?”, below is a summary of the key ways of paying HMRC for Corporation Tax, VAT and Personal Tax:

Corporation Tax

If your taxable profits are less than £1.5m HMRC will expect you to pay the Corporation Tax in one go, the deadline for this is 9 months and 1 day after the end of your accounting period. If the payment is late then HMRC will charge you interest based on the amount of Corporation Tax owed.

  • At the Post Office – For payments up to £10,000 you can pay at the Post Office by debit card, cash or cheque made payable to ‘Post Office Ltd’. You will need a payslip which HMRC will send to you after we have electronically submitted your Company Tax Return.
  • Online or telephone banking – There are two bank accounts you can use to pay your Corporation Tax to HMRC, the payslip which HMRC send you will detail which account to use, but if in doubt use Cumbernauld. As the reference, use your 17 character Corporation Tax reference which can be found from the payslip HMRC will send you.
Account Name Sort Code Account Number
HMRC Cumbernauld 083210 12001039
HMRC Shipley 083210 12001020
  • Online by Debit or Credit Card – You can pay directly to HMRC online using the following link. You will need your 17 character reference number which can be obtained from the payslip HMRC will send you. It is worth noting that HMRC will charge you 1.4% of the payment value if you pay by Credit card.

If your taxable profits exceed £1.5m HMRC will expect quarterly payments.

Value Added Tax – VAT

The deadline for paying your VAT is normally the same as the filing deadline, being 1 month and 7 days after the end of the VAT period. There are several ways to pay your VAT:

  • Direct Debit – The easiest way to pay your VAT is to set up a Direct Debit, once you have submitted a VAT return HMRC will automatically set up to take the payment owed, or if you are due a repayment this will be made directly into your bank.
  • Online or telephone banking – You can make your VAT payment using online banking or telephone banking using the account details just below. The reference you will need to include will be your 9 digit VAT registration number which can be found on your VAT registration certificate.
Account Name Sort Code Account Number
HMRC VAT 083200 11963155
  • Bank or Building society – You can pay at your local bank or building society, however you will need order paying-in slips from HMRC, these can take up to 6 weeks to arrive. Payment can be made using cash or a cheque made payable to ‘HM Revenue & Customs only’ followed by your 9 digit VAT registration number.

Personal Tax

Payments for personal tax are generally required to be made to HMRC twice a year. On 31 January you are required to pay the prior year’s tax (Balancing payment), and also the first payment on account for the year ahead. On 31 July you need to make your second payment on account.

  • At the Post Office – For payments up to £10,000 you can pay at the Post Office by debit card, cash or cheque made payable to ‘Post Office Ltd’. However, you will need to still be getting paper statements from HMRC and also have the paying-in slip which HMRC sent you.
  • Online or telephone banking – There are two bank accounts you can use to pay your personal tax to HMRC, your bill should tell you which account to use, but if in doubt use Cumbernauld. As the reference use your 11 character Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) followed by the letter “K” which can be found on your tax return or your HMRC online account.
Account Name Sort Code Account Number
HMRC Cumbernauld 083210 12001039
HMRC Shipley 083210 12001020
  • Online by Debit or Credit Card – You can pay using your credit or debit card using the following links. You will need your 11 character Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) followed by the letter “K” which can be found on your tax return or your HMRC online account.

Pay HMRC online via Debit Card

Pay HMRC online via Credit Card  – (Incurs 1.4% fee)

  • Post a cheque – You can post a cheque to HMRC, the cheque will need to be made payable to ‘HM Revenue & Customs only’ followed by your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). You will need to send the cheque with a payslip, if you did not receive a payslip from HMRC you can create your own payslip online.

The cheque and payslip should not be folded or fastened together, they should then be sent to the following address:

HM Revenue & Customs
Bradford
DB98 1YY

Excuses, excuses….

HMRC have recently released their list of the all time worst excuses offered by taxpayers who were late in filing their self assessment returns.

With this year’s deadline of 31st January fast approaching, now is the time to get your accounts in order and submit your return to the revenue.

Although HMRC will accept reasonable, legitimate excuses for late filing, any of the following excuses are not likely to be enough to swerve that £100 fine!

  • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an Internet signal.
  • I fell in with the wrong crowd.
  • I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
  • Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
  • I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
  • A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
  • I live in a campervan in a supermarket car park.
  • My girlfriend’s pregnant.
  • I was in Australia.

The deadline for filing by paper return passed at the end of October 2014, so any outstanding returns for the 2013/14 tax year must now be filed online before the deadline of 31 January.

While HMRC have highlighted a number of excuses given by taxpayers, it’s nice to know that us taxpayers are not the only ones with the excuses. Here are a number of excuses that HMRC gave in regards to inquiries on the state of client’s tax affairs:

  • Please can you call back in about an hour, Mr X (the Inspector) has just gone for a lie-down (that one was used by HMRC a few years ago).
  • We can’t issue your tax repayment, as shown in your Corporate Tax Self-Assessment, because it’s on a work list.
  • It’s in a pile and because it hasn’t been two weeks since we received it we don’t have to look at it yet.
  • Automated HMRC message: ‘If it’s less than 4 weeks since you submitted the return to us, please call later’.
  • Automated HMRC message: ‘We are very busy at this time’ and the call cuts out.

* Source http://economia.icaew.com/

 

SRA and LSB confirm changes to SRA Accounts Rules

Following approval by the Legal Services Board, on the 31 October 2014 the (Solicitors Regulation Authority) SRA accounts rules 2011 have removed the mandatory requirement that all firms must deliver an annual accountant’s report and replaced with the following requirement:

  • Any firm with an accounting period that ends before 31 October 2014 will need to obtain and deliver to us in the normal way an accountant’s report within six months of the end of the period to which the report relates.
  • Any firm with an accounting period that ends on 31 October 2014 or after will be required to obtain an accountants report within six months of the end of the period to which the report relates but will only be required to deliver the report to us if the report is qualified.
  • Any firm that only holds client money received from the Legal aid Agency with an accounting period that ends 31 October 2014 or after will not be required to obtain an accountant’s report.

The SRA have also made some straightforward amendments to the format of the accountant’s report by removing unnecessary fields such as the requirement to provide a list of partner names, which the SRA already holds.

These changes constitute ‘Phase One’ of a long-term strategy of which ‘Phase Two’ will include redefining the circumstances in which an accountant’s report needs to be qualified. The revised criteria will be implemented through changes to the Accounts Rules in April 2015 subject to further consultation.

The third and final phase will involve a major review of the Accounts Rules as a whole to be implemented through changes to the Accounts Rules in April 2016.

If you would like further information on this subject, or help with your accountants report, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Corporate team on 01872 271655.

New Charity SORP

Charity SORP

Historically the Charity SORP (Statements of Recommended Practice) has been amended every five years or so but this time there has been a gap of 10 years due to the delay in publishing the new financial reporting standard FRS 102. The first difference to be noted is that there are now two SORP’s, a FRSSE SORP and a FRS102 SORP.

FRSSE SORP

The FRSSE SORP can be used by charities which meet the small company thresholds, being meeting two out of the three following criteria; Income not more than £6.5m, balance sheet total not more than £3.26m and not more than 50 employees. The new SORP’s come into effect from year ends beginning 1 January 2015.

FRS102 SORP

The key changes will be seen by charities adopting the FRS102 SORP, some of these include:

  • A statement of cash flow will be required; previously smaller charities were exempt from this requirement.
  • Legacy income should be recognised if the receipt is probable rather than certain, this is likely to result in an increased level of income. It is vital that good record keeping is maintained to identify when the income should be recognised.
  • Donated goods which are held for sale by the charity should be included within stock. The revenue is also recognised at fair value when the item is donated rather than when it is sold. If however it is impractical to assess the value of the donated stock at the point it is donated, then charities can continue with their current method of recognising income at the point the item is sold.
  • The SoFA has been revised, and there are now five incoming resources headings being, Donations & Legacies, Charitable activities, Other trading activities, Investments and Other. Expenditure headings have also changed and there will now only be three headings being Raising funds, Charitable activities and Other
  • Salary bandings are to be disclosed in the notes to the accounts in blocks of £10,000.

Further information can be obtained from www.charitysorp.org

Charities: Payments to overseas bodies

Updated Guidance

HMRC has announced that it has updated the section on Payments to overseas bodies in the detailed guidance notes for charities.

Charities might like to take a look at this guidance, which deals with payments to bodies outside the UK and whether these can be considered to be charitable expenditure.

In general, a payment by a charity, which is in accordance with its charitable purpose, is classed as charitable expenditure. However, where the payment is to an overseas body, there are additional conditions that must be met in order for the payment to be charitable expenditure for UK tax purposes.

The criteria are that:

  • The payment is made to a foreign supplier of goods or services in the ordinary course of the charity’s activities; or
  • The charity takes reasonable steps to ensure that the payment is applied for charitable purposes.

Trustees are required to carry out appropriate research in relation to the overseas body in order to minimise risk to the charity’s finances and provide information and supporting documentation about:-

  • The person or persons to whom the payment was given
  • The specific charitable purpose for which the payment was given, the reasons, and how the decision to provide the payment was arrived at
  • The guarantees or assurances that have been obtained from the overseas body that the payment will be applied for the purpose for which it was given (such as a partnership or other written enforceable agreements), and what financial controls were in place, including sufficiently detailed financial records providing robust audit trails
  • The steps the trustees took to ensure the payment will in fact be applied for charitable purposes (such as safeguards, monitoring and oversight)
  • The follow-up action taken by the trustees to confirm that payments were applied properly

For more detailed information and examples please see HMRC’s Guidance on Payments to overseas bodies.

New Charity Annual Return

Charity Annual Return

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, have updated the charity annual return form for 2014 in order to better serve the regulatory work and the public’s interest in charities.

The charity annual return must be completed by all registered charities with an income over £10,000 and must be filed within 10 months of their financial year end. All Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO’s) are required to submit an annual return regardless of their income.

Previously, charities with a gross annual income of over £1 million had to complete a Summary Information Return (SIR) in part C of the annual return – this requirement has now been removed.

The charity annual return is important because it is a key tool that the Commission uses to inform its regulatory approach, promote good governance and make sure that charities are accountable to the public. The information provided on the return will be used to update the charity’s profile on the Commissions website.

The charity annual return will require a charity to disclose whether it:-

  • Has had its accounts qualified by an auditor or independent examiner
  • Pays any of its trustees for acting as charity trustees
  • Has a trading subsidiary
  • Raises funds from the public
  • Makes grants as its main activity
  • Works with a commercial participator, and, if it does, whether it has an agreement with them
  • Has written policies in place on risk management, investment, safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries, conflicts of interest, volunteer management and complaints handling
  • Is regulated by a regulator or registered with any other registrar than the Commission

In addition to this the Commission will also display on the register whether the charity:-

  • Was formed by the merger of two or more charities or whether it is a charitable company set up to receive the assets of an unincorporated charity.
  • Is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB).
  • Whether the charity has become insolvent
  • Whether the charity is subject to enforcement action by the Commission for non-submission of accounts (where a charity has failed to submit its accounts after repeated reminders and remained in default six months after the filing deadline).

For more information or assistance with completing your charity annual return please do not hesitate to contact us on 01872 271655, or you can email James directly at james.tregay@kelsallsteele.co.uk

Micro-Entities

Micro-Entities

At the end of April 2014, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) published an amended version of the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (FRSSE) for use by micro-entities which want to take advantage of new regulations allowing them to prepare simplified financial statements.

They are now able to use the FRSSE when choosing to apply the new micro-entities regime and prepare simplified financial statements with fewer disclosure notes than previously required by the FRSSE. The micro-entities regime was introduced into UK company law in November 2013 following new EU legislation.

Does your company qualify?

A micro-entity is a company which on its balance sheet date does not exceed the limits of two of the three following criteria:

  • turnover: £632,000
  • balance sheet total: £316,000; and
  • average number of employees during the financial year: 10

In respect to a new a company; it will qualify as a micro-entity if the qualifying conditions are met in the first year.

Existing companies will qualify as a micro-entity if the qualifying conditions are met in two consecutive years. A company will not qualify as a micro-entity if it does not meet the qualifying conditions in two consecutive years.

What does it mean for your company?

The preparation and calculation of the figures included within the accounts remains the same, the changes simply relate to the presentation and information disclosed in the publicly available accounts filed with Companies House.

As with small companies there is an option to not file the directors’ report and/or profit and loss account, however the concept of ‘abbreviated accounts’ does not apply. The balance sheet filed with Companies House must contain two notes disclosing information about:-

  • Directors benefits, advances, credit and guarantees
  • Guarantees and other financial commitments

The general rules and accounting principles of the small company regulations must be applied where the micro-entity regulations remain silent. Therefore, the company is presumed to be carrying on a business as a going concern, accounting policies should be consistent, assets and income and liabilities and expenditure should not be netted off, comparative figures are required etc.

Whilst a director’s report is still required, the small company exemptions can be claimed in preparing this. A standard micro-entity directors’ report will disclose nothing more than the names of the directors and the fact that they have taken advantages of small companies’ exemptions in preparing the report.

Contact Us

If you think your company qualifies as a micro-entity, or would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.

LLP Employment status of members

HMRC have issued further guidance in respect of the LLP employment status of its members following the publication of draft legislation in the Autumn Statement in December 2013.

The new rules will treat a member of the LLP as an ‘employee’ if all three of the following conditions below are met.

Condition A –Disguised Salary

This is the key indicator for determining if an LLP member is a salaried member. The test is applied ‘looking forward’ on the basis of the arrangement in force at the time.

What would constitute a disguised salary:-

  • An amount that meets any of the following requirements:-
    • It is fixed; or
    • It is variable, but varied without reference to the overall amount of the profits or losses of the LLP; or
    • It is not, in practice, affected by the overall profits or losses of the LLP
  •  If 80% or more of amounts payable by the LLP to the member are for services this would constitute a disguised salary.

What wouldn’t constitute a disguised salary:-

  • Any benefits firms might pay on behalf of members through the profit and loss account e.g. health insurance; cars etc. are not treated as part of the potentially disguised salary.
  • Payments to a former active member of the LLP (i.e. one who provided services to the LLP in the past but is now ‘non serving’) do not constitute disguised salary payments.
  • An individual’s profit share needs to be exposed to the variable profits of the whole business to avoid being treated as disguised salary. It is acceptable for those profits to be allocated based on a personal, team, or office performance basis.
  • Drawings do not represent a fixed share, providing they are no account of anticipated profits and are ultimately repayable if such profits are not achieved.

Condition B – Significant Influence

This condition is met if the mutual right and duties of the members and the LLP do not give the member significant influence over the affairs of the partnership.

The legislation refers to those individuals who do not have significant influence, i.e. those that merely work in the business rather than carry it on. Examples of those who do have a significant influence include those who are involved in the management of the business as a whole, or senior members of a firm who may have little interest in day-to-day management which they leave to others but their roles and rights mean that they can exert significant influence over the business as a whole.

Condition C – Contribution

This is the condition of choice for law firms to focus on.

This condition is met if the members contribution to the LLP is less that 25% of the disguised salary and it is reasonable to expect that it will be payable in a relevant tax year in respect of the members performance of services for the LLP.

HMRC’s guidance states that providing by 6 April 2014 there is an unconditional requirement for members to contribute capital funding and that capital funding is actually in place within 3 months of 6 April 2014, then this will count in terms of measuring a members’ capital of the purposes of this condition.

There is a similar relaxation for new members who join after 6 April 2014. They will have 2 months to introduce capital after their appointment providing the requirement to contribute is also unconditional from the date they become a member.

The guidance clarifies that current account balances, undrawn profits, tax reserves and sums the member can recall at their discretion do not constitute capital.

Members meeting all 3 conditions

If all three conditions are met by a member then that individual is a salaried member and will be treated as an employee for tax purposes, subject to PAYE and tax on any benefits in kind.

The Gov.uk website provides full guidance on LLP salaried members as well as examples for each condition.

For further information or guidance on any of these points you can contact James Tregay on 01872 271655 or via email at james.tregay@kelsallsteele.co.uk

Scam Email Alert – SRA & Royal Mail

SRA Bogus Emails

Solicitors’ firms are reporting that they have received email messages from the SRA, some of which refer to pending investigations. These messages have been sent from email addresses that do not end in @sra.org.uk. The messages do not originate from the SRA. It is possible that the messages contain a virus, and you are advised not to open any message attachments.

If you receive an email message of this kind, please forward it to fraud@sra.org.uk. Then, delete it. If you have opened an attachment to a message of this kind, you should report it to your bank and IT provider.

Further details can be found on the SRA website

Royal Mail ‘missed delivery’

A malicious email allegedly from Royal Mail is currently circulating the world wide web. The email may refer to lost or undelivered packages requesting that you download and fill out documentation contained in the attachment. However, the email attachment contains a malicious virus designed to encrypt all files on the recipient’s computer, and this encryption is irreversible.

Royal Mail have confirmed that they do not send emails of this type to individuals.

Further details regarding this scam email, other known scams, and how to report them can be found on the Royal Mail website

Apprenticeships – Could they help your business?

With the increasing cost of university fees, many school and sixth form leavers are making the decision that the opportunity to earn a salary while training on the job with an apprenticeship is more tempting than taking on a mountain of debt from university. Therefore now could be seen as a great opportunity to take on an apprentice with the available talent pool.

The industries covered by apprenticeships are wider than you would first think. Apprenticeships can be offered in industries such as IT services, health care, veterinary nurses, and legal professionals. The apprenticeships schemes are being backed by David Cameron who wants them to become “the norm” for school leavers who choose not to go to university.

In England there are three levels of apprenticeships, Intermediate, Advanced and Higher. These can last between one and four years depending on their level, and are usually one day a week at a local college. Recognised qualifications such as NVQs, technical certificates and HNDs can be gained through apprenticeships. The National Apprenticeship Service will help by covering in full, or in part, the training costs associated with the apprenticeship.

Cost Effective

Apprenticeships can be seen as a cost effective way to help your business grow. The current minimum wage for Apprentices is only £2.68 per hour, with the average weekly net pay being £170. Therefore apprentices offer you the chance to expand your workforce at a reduced cost, while at the same time mould your apprentices to work in the way that you want them to. The combination of experience gained while working, with the knowledge gained while training can turn your apprentices into a highly skilled and capable employees, thus helping your business grow.

Apprenticeship Grants

“Age 16 to 24” is a grant which is available as an incentive scheme for employers to take on an apprentice, or change an existing employee onto an apprenticeship. The grant is £1,500 per apprentice and is aimed at businesses who are new to apprenticeships, or who have not enrolled a new recruit, or existing employee, onto an Apprenticeship programme in the last 12 months. Employers are not limited to just claiming the grant once, if you take on further apprentices you can claim an additional £1,500 per apprentice, provided the conditions are met. The current incentive scheme is currently available until 31 December 2014.

For further information on apprenticeships please see www.apprenticeships.org.uk or contact James Tregay on 01872 271655 or james.tregay@kelsallsteele.co.uk