Manufacturing technology apprenticeship applications hit record high for Coventry’s MTC

Apprentices record MTC

MTC Apprenticeships, part of the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), has seen a surge in applications from prospective apprentices, with more than 700 young people looking to join the award-winning programme.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) opened in 2011 as an independent Research & Technology Organisation (RTO) with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry – often referred to as ‘the valley of death’. It represents one of the largest public sector investments in UK manufacturing.

Over the last nine years the MTC has grown rapidly with the expansion of its campus with the construction of three more facilities, including the opening of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre and the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing.

Now 135 successful candidate apprentices are in a talent pool ready to be snapped up by employers wanting to 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 apprentices have passed the MTC’s rigorous screening process and assessment centre and MTC Apprenticeships is now looking for new employer partners looking to create the next generation of engineers.

David Hughes MBE, 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 per cent 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 per cent 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.

David 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, managing director at Arrowsmith, 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  £3million can use their apprenticeship levy to cover training costs, while eligible smaller businesses can access a £1million 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 employers@the-mtc.org.