23 April, 2024

Apprenticeship partnership for sustainable growth

01 November, 2023
Representatives from Close Brothers Group plc, pictured alongside University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre apprentice alumni

A partnership between Close Brothers and the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre has further cemented a commitment to supporting apprentices and SMEs, helping businesses secure sustainable growth to build an engineering workforce for the future. H&P Reports


Over the past eight years, the Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme has supported the training of 55 apprentices at the AMRC Training Centre, part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) innovation cluster. The next stage of the partnership will now see a further 20 apprenticeships funded over the coming year, with the intake beginning in September 2023.

As many businesses try to survive the squeeze of inflationary pressures, the Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow their workforces and recruit new apprentices, providing a vital opportunity for businesses to invest in local talent and skills.

Nikki Jones, director of the AMRC Training Centre, said its partnership with Close Brothers plays a crucial role in ensuring SMEs are equipped to employ apprentices, which helps these businesses to continue to thrive: “We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from Close Brothers over the past eight years and it’s a relationship we value highly,” added Nikki. “Their support has made a huge difference to the lives of so many apprentices and it’s a partnership we are excited to continue growing in the future.

“This scheme not only supports apprentices to have the opportunity to explore an avenue which might not have been available to them previously, giving them the chance to learn and gain an important set of skills businesses are calling out for, but it also helps local SMEs to recruit the next generation of engineers. “It’s these smaller businesses that remain to be the lifeblood of our communities and local economy, and such support helps guide them through a difficult financial period currently being faced by many and fill any current skills gaps. What we do with Close Brothers provides the industry with a vital lifeline to carve out an engineering future of excellence within UK manufacturing.”

Adrian Sainsbury, Chief Executive of Close Brothers Group plc, said: “We are delighted to be partnering again with the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre. It opens up great opportunities for young people and helps create a much-needed pipeline of future engineering talent.

“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 eight years we have established a programme that aims to help with the specific issues they are facing including the cost of investing in an apprentice. 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 skills and knowledge required to build a rewarding long-term career.




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