Twenty small engineering companies in Sheffield have been awarded funding by Close Brothers merchant bank, as it looks to support advanced engineering apprentices.
In May, Apprentice Eye reported that Close Brothers was hosting an event to help Sheffield SMEs take on new apprentices. The company has now selected 20 firms to award new funding to.
In partnership with the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre and the Manufacturing Technologies Association, Close Brothers will aim to support a number of small business owners in expanding their operations.
Close Brothers has awarded the North-West firms partial funding, which will enable engineering bosses to start interviewing potential apprentices in the near future. Close Brothers hope that all selected apprentices will start their training in September.
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’re making a positive contribution to their business.
Close Brothers has chosen to help small firms hire young recruits as just one in three SMEs across the UK currently offer apprenticeships, according to its own business barometer.
Its research proves that an apprentice makes a huge difference to SMEs, with productivity increasing by 16 per cent. Stephen Hodges, CEO of Close Brothers hopes that great things will come of the project.
‘‘SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, and the recruitment of ambitious, fully trained apprentices can only foster even greater growth in the UK, especially in manufacturing and engineering industries where there is such glaring skills shortage.’’
‘‘This banking first is a pioneering scheme to provide genuine financial support for the SME sector. We are excited to be working with a variety of SMEs and see the results of the programme,’’ concluded Hodges.
The successful 20 SMEs who have been selected by Close Brothers are:
1. Best Engineering
2. C&S Fabrications
4. CNC Rotary
5. X-Cel Superturn
6. Davy Markham
7. FA Morris
8. Fernite of Sheffield
9. Foxwood Diesel
10. IME Repair Services
12. Owen Springs
13. RE Field Services
15. Senex Engineering
16. SPA Landscaping
17. Strafford Fabrication
18. Tufcot Engineering
19. Viking Industrial & Marine Services
20. W Hallam Castings