Bank funds 20 apprentices at Sheffield University research centre
TwentyÂ young workersÂ at South Yorkshire engineering firms have started apprenticeships - with their costs paid by a bank.
The next generation of advanced engineers is attending the AMRC Training Centre under a scheme sponsored by Close Brothers to help employers bridge the skills gap. The company is paying all training costs and half of the apprentices' wages in the first year and a quarter in the second.Â TheÂ trainingÂ centreÂ at Waverley in Rotherham is part of Sheffield University. Adrian Sainsbury,Â managingÂ director of Close Brothers banking division, said: 'Apprenticeships are an excellent way for UK SMEs to fill skills gaps, develop their workforce and improve their long-term growth prospects.Â "We believe the scheme is making a genuine difference to the participating SMEs which is why we have been working with the AMRC to support small businesses for the last three years and are delighted to be continuing our partnership this year.' Nikki Jones, director of the AMRC Training Centre, praised the scheme for supporting SMEs in Sheffield City Region. 'The recruitment of ambitious and fully-trained apprentices that can hit the ground running is definitely the right way to go - not only to address the glaring skills shortage threatening the UK engineering and manufacturing industries but to create a diverse and dynamic workforce brimming with fresh talent and new ideas.' The programme is also supported by the Manufacturing Technologies Association.
James Selka, chief executive of the Manufacturing Technologies Association, said: 'We see high quality apprenticeships as a hugely important talent pipeline for our industry.Â
"We are particularly keen to help smaller companies take them on and we fund some within our membership to do just that. The support of Close and great facilities at the AMRC make taking apprentices on more affordable and effective for companies that might otherwise not be able to.'