"Following the severe economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic this budget was vital in putting the economy onto the right track and to manage the transition from the measures that had been put in place to maintain employment through the national lockdowns.
"The doubling of the apprentice incentive payments given to businesses to £3,000 for all new hires, of any age is very encouraging and the planned “portable apprenticeship” closely reflects our successful shared apprenticeship model. We already know the value that shared apprenticeship model can provide and, alongside other apprenticeship more traditional apprenticeship models will continue to provide the vital pathways that young people and those switching careers need to progress their careers. £126m of additional funding for traineeships is very welcome and, if used well, will create many opportunities and learning experiences for individuals considering their first or next careers choices. Alongside the other various measures relating to support for employment i.e. Kickstart we will aim to maximise as many opportunities as possible to support our members perpetual efforts to bring hope and opportunity to their tenants and wider communities.
"The Government’s commitment to the use of Modern Methods of Construction is furthered in the budget through the formation of an MMC Taskforce with £10m of seed funding. This Taskforce will have the opportunity to make some real headway in this important area if it moves beyond the ubiquitous supply of case studies and infographics and tackles the more systemic matters of aligning funding viability models to actual costs. MMC provides a real opportunity for the sector to tackle the housing crisis and, whilst there are some encouraging signs, there is much for our sector to do to truly achieve the potential for this form of new build housing delivery.
"In the year the UK holds the presidency of the UN climate change talks (COP26) the UK’s commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse emissions in 2050 is reflected in a number of measures in the budget. Future measures by the Government will need to facilitate the training of huge numbers of people into green skills and, whilst there is no doubt that this represents a significant opportunity for the country, both economically and environmentally, lots needs to be done to put in place the programmes of training and support to provide the vital skilled jobs.
"It was encouraging to see a number of announcements relating to the establishment of new facilities in Northern England and, as Darlingtonian I was delighted to see the planned establishment of the new northern campus of the Treasury in Darlington. Alongside the UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds and the upgraded port facilities in the Humber these moves will bring much needed employment opportunities and catalyse further economic activity in their supply chains and networks.
"So, in summary, a number of encouraging announcements in the budget pertinent to Efficiency North and its operations. It is now essential that we maximise every element of support to bring about the much needed employment opportunities that our members communities will need in order to recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic. "
Lee Parkinson, Chief Executive, Efficiency North
Detailed information about the 2021 budget on the UK government website HERE