Applications now open for SME apprentice funding

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Close Brothers is now accepting applications from small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Sheffield to receive funding for an apprentice.

In April, Close Brothers announced the SME Apprentice Programme, in partnership with University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

The scheme will see the investment bank partly fund 20 apprentices for businesses that would otherwise struggle to pay for trainees.

Close Brothers will fund half of an apprentice’s wages during the first year and a quarter in their second.

The bank will fund 20 apprentices from September 2015, with another 20 added in 2016 and 2017.

Research from Close Brothers revealed just one in three SMEs currently offer apprenticeships.

Stephen Hodges, chief executive of Close Brothers Group, said: “We know from our work with SMEs that many would like to take on apprentices but are worried about the cost, time, and resource involved.

“Britain’s manufacturing companies urgently need to recruit and train a new generation of skilled workers if they are to grow in an increasingly competitive global market.”

Applications for the programme close on 19th June 2015.