SMMT commits £100k to apprentice fund
- 19 October 2021
- Posted by: Alan Feldberg
- Category: News
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has earmarked £100,000 to support businesses employing apprentices.
The SMMT’s Charitable Trust Fund has re-launched the SMMT Apprentice Support Programme, which comes after the conclusion of the government-funded furlough scheme.
The Programme will set aside £100,000 to cover all or part of the salaries of apprentices currently employed by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) within the UK automotive industry, but whose positions are at risk of redundancy due to Covid-19 related business pressures.
There are currently some 59,000 young people employed in apprenticeship positions across the sector, and they play a vital role in the future growth of businesses throughout the entire automotive supply chain. Investing in skill retention helps secure a pipeline of top talent for the future, ensuring a line of succession and a return on investment for businesses that have already hired apprentices before the pandemic hit. For an industry built on decades of innovation, developing a future generation of experts is crucial for the long-term growth and success of the sector.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK automotive industry is built on decades of craftsmanship, engineering excellence and innovation delivered by a highly skilled workforce – and its long-term recovery and growth will depend on retaining and developing this skills base. That’s why it’s so important that we do everything possible to ensure that we don’t let today’s challenges hinder our long-term aspirations. Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s leaders, and this scheme will help protect their jobs now so that they can help drive our future success.”
Gareth Jones, chairman of the SMMT Charitable Trust Fund, said: “As a former technical apprentice myself I can only imagine the devastating impact of losing your apprenticeship, particularly if you are close to completing your qualification. This timely and much needed initiative from the STCF will provide critical and well targeted support to ensure we retain some fantastic talent and potential in our industry.”