15 new apprentices will be funded by merchant banking group Close Brothers in 2021, marking the fifth phase of the company’s SME apprenticeship programme.
Close Brothers have funded this programme since 2015 with 55 apprentices so being trained at AMRC Training Centre, part of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Group.
The programme gives employers financial support towards taking on apprentices in the manufacturing and transport sectors, with Close Brothers covering all training costs and contributing to wages.
Adrian Sainsbury, Chief Executive, Close Brothers Group, commented: “Apprenticeships are an excellent way for UK SMEs to fill skills gaps, develop their future workforce and improve long-term growth prospects.
“We know from experience that SMEs often need assistance to take on apprentices, so over the past six years we have established a programme that aims to help SMEs with the specific issues they are facing. We also want to help businesses establish a diverse and dynamic workforce of young fresh talent with new ideas and an eagerness to learn the new skills and knowledge required to build a rewarding long-term career.
“2020 had a profound impact on the number of apprenticeship courses that are available to school leavers and those looking for a career change. This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week is to “Build the Future” and now is a perfect time to help more school leavers to consider apprenticeships as a great way to begin their careers. We are proud to be playing our part to help small businesses invest in their future and pass important skills onto the next generation.”
Director of the AMRC Training Centre, Nikki Jones, said: “This is a fantastic piece of news to announce at the start of National Apprenticeship Week. Every day we see examples of our apprentices making significant contributions to their employers, adding value to businesses and driving innovation in production processes. The Close Brothers scheme will allow more SMEs, some of which wouldn’t necessarily be able to take on an apprentice otherwise, to benefit from our apprentices’ fresh-thinking, skills and know-how.
“The 15 new apprentices funded by Close Brothers, who are joining the AMRC Training Centre this year, means more employers can invest in their future by developing the skills they need for growth, productivity and profitability. Those three elements will be crucial as the manufacturing sector rebuilds in 2021.”
Close Brothers is helping UK SMEs recruit and train apprentices with the support of the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre, the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the manufacturers organisation Make UK.