From April 2016 the government will make it cheaper for employers to take on an apprentice by abolishing National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25, George Osborne announced in the Autumn Statement.

Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer for the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE), said: “Clearly, this is going to be very beneficial for employers and apprentices. When you look at the savings an employer will make over a three-year period, it’s quite substantial. It will also encourage more employers who were doubtful about taking on an apprentice to take that first step.

“On top of this, the 20m budget to improve careers advice will help students to make the right decision on their career path. The CIPHE is an educational charity, as well as being the professional body for the industry. We believe Apprenticeships are key in creating a competent, professional workforce for the future.”