Employers in England are being offered an extra £2,000 to take on teenagers, care leavers and those with special education needs as apprentices.
Under the plans, small businesses will be subsidised with 90% of the costs of providing apprenticeships.
Larger firms will be required to contribute 0.5% of their payroll to the new apprenticeships scheme from 2017.
Employers group the CBI said firms were ready to play their part but April’s proposed start date should be delayed.
Read more about this story on the BBC website: Firms offered £2,000 incentive to take on apprentices | BBC News