Close Brothers extends SME apprentice funding scheme

Carpenter And Apprentice Installing Luxury Fitted Kitchen

Close Brothers has announced a further expansion of its innovative apprentice funding scheme. Starting in September, the commercial finance house will partner with EEF and MTA to support twenty manufacturing apprentices in Birmingham as part of Phase Two of its SME Apprenticeship Programme.

Through the partnership with EEF and MTA, Close Brothers will “Select twenty manufacturing SMEs in the Birmingham area that need support in hiring a local apprentice to help answer their business needs.”

CB will assist in recruiting and paying for twenty apprentices – one for each SME. According to the company, the programme will fund half of the apprentices’ wages in the first year and a quarter in the second, helping to alleviate cost concerns.

The news comes after the successful launch of the scheme last year, where 20 apprentices in Sheffield were part funded by Close Brothers.


‘Urgent need to recruit and train skilled workers’

Stephen Hodges, Chief Executive of Close Brothers Banking Division, said he was delighted to announce the launch of phase two of the CB SME Apprenticeship Programme. “Our partnership with EEF allows us to deliver another year of excellent results where the chosen young people will benefit from the highest standards of manufacturing training. In turn, our new twenty SMEs can welcome fully-equipped apprentices into their business without the need to take on the financial burden of providing them with the necessary skills.

“We know from our work with our SME manufacturing clients that there is an urgent need to recruit and train a new generation of skilled workers. We want our pioneering scheme to act as a model for helping SMEs hire young talent, without the barriers of cost and red tape, so they can unlock potential through investing in the new generation of skilled workers.”