Finance Yorkshire investment is supporting businesses across Yorkshire and the Humber in the drive to harness the benefits of apprenticeships.
Several of the regional funding body’s investee companies have taken on apprentices to plug skills gaps and bolster their workforces.
The benefits of employing apprentices are being highlighted in National Apprenticeship Week – 9 to 13 March 2015 – in which apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy will be celebrated.
Rotherham-based Industrial Battery and Charger Services Limited (IBCS) operates an apprenticeship scheme which has seen two apprentices already qualify as electrical engineers while a third is six months into his apprenticeship at the company – the UK’s largest independent service provider for forklift batteries.
IBCS received a £120,000 Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire and has increased turnover from £2.6m in 2012 to more than £4m in 2014.
Managing director Jonathan Jones said: “We see apprentices very much as the future of our business – once they are qualified, they have a trade and stay with us while we continue to invest in their training and development. Having an apprenticeship scheme has been very positive for us.”
The IBCS apprenticeship scheme is run in conjunction with Rotherham College where the company’s latest apprentice Dylan Bartholomew, 18, has already completed a Level 2 Electrical Engineering course.
Dylan, 18, from Maltby, said: “This is my first job and I’m enjoying it very much. I’m learning a lot while at the same time going to college where I do my course in two-week blocks which works well alongside being at IBCS. Doing an apprenticeship is definitely the right route for me.”
Excel Telecom in Garforth is another Finance Yorkshire investee company that has embraced the value of apprentices. It has used a Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire to hire its first apprentice, Hafeefer Nazir, 19, who is being trained in all areas of the business.
Managing director Gail Turner said: “I’m a great believer in young people and this funding has enabled us to invest in the future of the business.”
Finance Yorkshire chief executive Alex McWhirter said: “Our investments help companies to grow and create job opportunities which enables them to invest in people – including apprentices – who acquire invaluable skills which allow Yorkshire and the Humber to become an even stronger economy.”