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Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme

Supporting SME's by helping fund new apprentices

Helping local SMEs to secure the skills they need

We are delighted to announce that we are partnering again with the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre to fund a further 20 apprenticeships through the Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme.

This year, we will be funding 15 new apprentices and five progressing apprentices to higher and degree apprenticeships.

Find out more

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.  

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

Adrian Sainsbury, Chief Executive


Rosie Davies, a Close Brothers funded apprentice, Class of 2018

“Having such an experienced team around me has helped me progress in my career and develop as a person too.”
Rosie Davies

Jakub Kuchta, a Close Brothers funded apprentice, Class of 2020

“It’s definitely the best thing that I’ve done so far in my working career.”
Jakub Kuchta

Adrian Salatowski, a Close Brothers funded apprentice, Class of 2015

Adrian Salatowski began his Level 3 Engineering Apprenticeship in 2015, funded by Close Brothers, at the AMRC Training Centre, and is currently employed as a Production Engineer at CWE Ltd.
Adrian Salatowski

Ben Siddall, a Close Brothers funded apprentice, Class of 2015

”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.
Ben Siddall

Hallam Castings and Nikki Jones, Director of the AMRC training centre, discuss the value of apprentices and the difference that Close Brothers has made

A lasting, positive impact on society

Our SME Apprentice Programme is now in its eighth year 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. 

Helping to tackle the driver shortage through apprenticeships

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

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

We remain committed to our SME Apprentice Programme


Phase 1: We launched the Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme with an intake of 20 apprentices to learn skills at the AMRC Training Centre


Phase 2: We partnered with Make UK and MTA to support 20 manufacturing apprentices in Birmingham


Phase 3: We supported 20 transport apprentices across the UK through partnering with the RHA


Phase 4: We continued our work with AMRC Training Centre to sponsor a further 20 apprentices


Phase 5: A further 15 apprentices funded in conjunction with the AMRC Training Centre


Phase 6: We partner again with the AMRC Training Centre to sponsor a further intake of 20 apprentices; 15 new and five progressing

Our SME Apprentice Programme partners