The next generation of advanced engineers, brimming with fresh talent and new ideas, have started at the AMRC Training Centre under a scheme from Close Brothers to help local employers secure the skills they need for future growth.

The Close Brothers SME Apprenticeship Programme - supported by the AMRC Training Centre and the Manufacturing Technologies Association - has helped pay for 20 apprentices to support smaller businesses in the Sheffield City Region, that might otherwise not be able to afford to take on an apprentice, to boost their workforce.

The apprentices have now started on their programmes and they are being taught the advanced skills needed to make a contribution to a company from day one.

Nikki Jones, director of the AMRC Training Centre, is pleased to see the new apprentices in centre and praised the scheme for supporting SMEs in the 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.”

Adrian Sainsbury, Managing Director of Close Brothers Banking division, said SMEs often need assistance to take on apprentices, which is why they designed the programme to help with the specific issues smaller firms face. 

Close Brothers is contributing 50 per cent of the wages of the apprentices in the first year and 25 per cent in the second year, as well as covering all training costs. 

Adrian said: “Apprenticeships are an excellent way for UK SMEs to fill skills gaps, develop their future workforce and improve their long-term growth prospects. 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.”

James Selka, CEO of the Manufacturing Technologies Association, said it’s a fantastic project to be involved with and the MTA always champions the next generation of engineers.  

James added “At the MTA we see high quality apprenticeships as a hugely important talent pipeline for our industry. 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 Brothers and the great facilities at the AMRC make taking apprentices on more affordable and effective for companies that might otherwise not be able to.”

About the University of Sheffield's AMRC Training Centre

Our pioneering 5,500 sqm apprenticeship training centre was established to train the next generation of world leading engineers.

The Centre opened its doors in January 2014 and has since trained more than 1,000 people aged from 16, including second and third year apprentices who spend one day a week at the centre.

About the MTA

The MTA exists to promote the interests, and be the voice, for the manufacturing technologies sector in the UK.

The Manufacturing Technologies Association is the UK’s trade association for companies in the manufacturing technology sector.  MTA members design, manufacture and supply the advanced machinery, equipment and intellectual property that enable the creation of the products we rely on from day to day and that drive our economy.

The MTA owns and runs MACH, the UK’s premier event to showcase manufacturing technologies. The biennial exhibition, held at the NEC, attracts over 25,000 visitors, over 600 exhibitors and the last edition, MACH 2016, saw over £150,000,000 of business attributed to it.