SMEs in Sheffield have the opportunity to hire new apprentices » SMEInsider

SMEs in Sheffield have the opportunity to hire new apprentices

Small engineering businesses across Sheffield can attend an event which will enable them to take on an apprentice.

The Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme, which will be held at the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre, is taking place on Wednesday 10th June. The scheme also combines the efforts of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).

Under the scheme, Close Brothers will help pay for 20 apprentices to learn crucial engineering skills.

The financial services group will fund half of the new recruits’ wages during the first year and a quarter in the second, meaning participating SMEs won’t have to bear the full cost of employing the apprentices until they are making a positive contribution to their business.

‘‘We know from our work with SMEs that many would like to take on apprentices but they are worried about the cost, time, and resource involved,’’ commented Stephen Hodges, chief executive of Close Brothers banking division.

The objective is to recruit a further 20 apprentices in year two and 20 more in year three, meaning Close Brothers will be supporting up to 60 apprentices in the scheme at full capacity in what is a banking first.

‘‘Britain’s manufacturing companies urgently need to recruit and train a new generation of skilled engineering workers if they are to grow in an increasingly competitive global market: we hope our initiative will help more SMEs to do just that. We believe this pioneering scheme will provide genuine financial support to the SME sector.”

A number of British companies have upped their efforts to employ new apprentices in recent months. SME Insider reported on how BT is trying to reinvigorate their apprenticeship schemes, particularly in the North-East of England.

Interested SMEs can find more information at