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National Apprenticeship Week

Celebrating the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the community

Helping to "build the future" through apprenticeships

This week marks the 14th National Apprenticeship Week, a celebration of apprenticeships, showcasing the impact and benefits they can have on communities, local businesses and regional economies.

Themed “Build the future”, everyone is encouraged to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and employers to build a workforce with future ready skills. As the impacts of the pandemic on the economy develop, the importance of apprenticeships as a model for education and training is only going to increase. National Apprenticeship Week gives an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of opportunity and value that apprenticeships bring, and how they can help individuals and employers build their future.

Close Brothers has been supporting apprenticeships for six years through its SME Apprentice Programme. Find out more here.

Recruiting and training a new generation of apprentices

Since 2015 Close Brothers has successfully helped SMEs across the UK recruit and train a new generation of apprentices.  

Apprenticeships can be life changing, offering people of all ages and backgrounds a high quality route to skilled employment in a range of exciting professions. 

We believe the SME sector is the lifeblood of the UK economy and strongly encourage the role of apprentices in helping SMEs grow.  

"We are proud to support National Apprenticeship week, a celebration bringing the whole apprenticeship community together to recognise the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy."  

Adrian Sainsbury, Chief Executive


A lasting, positive impact on society

Our SME Apprentice Programme is now in its fifth phase and demonstrates our long established and continued commitment to help SMEs and their local communities grow, succeed and thrive. 

The programme contributes to the funding of new apprentices in the manufacturing and transport sectors in and around the Midlands, helping local SMEs to secure the skills they need for the future.

Hallam Castings, a UK aluminium die casting specialist manufacturer, describes the value of having a Close Brothers funded apprentice in their business

Please note, this video was filmed prior to the Covid-19 outbreak

Meet Rosie Davies, a Close Brothers funded apprentice

“I was the only girl that turned up to my college with steel capped boots.” Rosie Davies works as an engineering apprentice for Penny Hydraulics.
Image of Ben Sidall, an apprentice part of Close Brothers apprentice scheme

Bethany Cousins, AMRC Apprentice Spotlight Story

Bethany Cousins, a Manufacturing Technology degree apprentice, works as a project engineer at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (”AMRC”). In December 2020 she was crown Apprentice of the Year and Degree Apprentice of the Year.
Image of Bethany Cousins, an apprentice part of Close Brothers apprentice scheme

Ben Siddall, a Close Brothers funded apprentice

”My apprenticeship with the AMRC has been the stepping stone that set me off in the right direction in my career.” Ben Siddall went on to win Apprentice of the Year 2018.
Image of Ben Siddall

Close Brothers remains committed to SME apprenticeship programme

A further 15 apprentices who will join the programme in 2021, marking the fifth phase of this scheme.

Read more

How can haulage businesses address the skills shortage?

Close Brothers partnered with the RHA to help tackle the driver shortage and train the next generation of Large Goods Vehicle Drivers through its SME Apprentice Programme.

Find out more here

Pimlico Plumbers Case Study

Charlie Mullins gives insight into his journey from an apprentice to becoming a multi millionaire, and the value of an apprentice in the workplace today.

Click here

The value of our SME Apprentice Programme

"If you want to keep ahead of the competition then you need the right people with the right skills."
That’s why Robin Penny, managing director of Penny Hydraulics Ltd, signed up to the Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme.

Read Penny Hydraulics Ltd story here

The power of apprenticeship support

Insight from Steve Gee, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance, Industrial Equipment Division

Read more here

Our SME Apprentice Programme partners: