The Manufacturing Technology Centre
in Coventry has seen a surge in applications from prospective apprentices, with more than 700 young people applying to join the award-winning programme this year.
As a result, 135 selected candidates are now in a talent pool ready to be snapped up by employers who can now take advantage of the recently-announced Government scheme to pay an additional, temporary, six-month bonus of up to £2,000 per learner for employers taking on new apprentices.
The successful applicants have passed the MTC's rigorous screening process and assessment centre. MTC Apprenticeships is looking for new employer partners who want to future-proof their workforce by creating the next generation of engineers.
David Hughes, managing director of the MTC's Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, said that incorporating apprenticeships into a training and recruitment strategy offers great benefits to any business, with apprenticeships providing a cost-effective way to attract enthusiastic, motivated, young talent, while helped by temporary Government funding.
Recent figures from the National Apprenticeship Service show that 75% of employers believe that taking on apprentices has lowered their recruitment costs. Firms stand to benefit from increased employee retention and loyalty, as well as higher levels of staff performance, with 92% of businesses who employ apprentices saying that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
Apprenticeships also help address the engineering skills shortage by providing learners with the skills and experience to help them add value to their organisation from the start of their careers.
Apprentices on the MTC’s programme gain additional expertise compared to other learners through their exposure to the latest engineering technologies, crucial to the success of the manufacturing sector.
Mr Hughes said: “MTC apprentices are exactly what the industry needs to fill the high tech jobs of the future. Our programme produces apprentices capable of rapidly adding value to their employers, and several of our apprentices have gone on to win awards and accolades in recognition of their exceptional skills.”
For MTC employer partner, Coventry-based Arrowsmith Engineering, taking on apprentices is a crucial element of its growth strategy and essential to the business’s success.
Jason Aldridge, Arrowsmith managing director, said: “Having young, bright people is so important and combining them with experienced staff becomes the life blood of any SME in the sector. Apprentices bring a youthfulness and when they come from a place such as the MTC, they do things the right way and, crucially, have views on how it could work in the future.
He added: “As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to make some difficult decisions around our workforce, but we kept our MTC apprentices on board as a result of the value they have brought. They are a credit to themselves and our business.”
Firms can take advantage of a range of funds and financial incentives to support the employment of an apprentice. UK employers with a payroll of more than £3 million can use their apprenticeship levy to cover training costs, while eligible smaller businesses can access a £1 million fund created through an exclusive partnership between MTC Apprenticeships and Lloyds Bank.
Apprentices are also set to be instrumental in supporting Britain’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country re-opens and adapts to the "new normal", manufacturers need to ensure their workforces can meet demand and support their future growth.
In recognition of this, and to encourage the creation of new jobs for young people, the Government has also recently announced an additional, temporary, six-month bonus of up to £2,000 per learner for employers taking on new apprentices. The Government funding is time limited so employers are urged to act now.
Companies interested in finding out more about the apprentice talent pool, funding opportunities or the apprenticeship bonus should contact .