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Employers in construction will soon find it more affordable to hire new apprentices, as a result of plans set out in the Autumn Statement.

As part of his economic update, Chancellor George Osborne announced that from April 2016 onwards, employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will only apply to the highest-paid apprentices under the age of 25.

All other apprentices below this age will be exempt from employer NICs.

The latest reform follows the Chancellor’s announcement last year that NICs will not apply to apprentices under the age of 21, as of April 2015.

Further financial support is also set to be offered to the careers advice sector, in a bid to help young people make more informed decisions about their future.

Commenting on the proposals, CITB chief executive Adrian Belton said: “Today’s abolition of National Insurance on apprenticeships and £20 million investment for careers advice for young people are a real boost for employers looking to invest in young people.

“The priority now for industry and government is to make apprenticeships simpler, ensure providers respond to needs, and create a simpler framework for engaging with schools.”