GREATER Manchester Leaders are calling on Small and Medium Enterprises to create their own apprenticeship opportunities as employers hail the positive impact they have had on their businesses.

Business owners in the city-region have reported hiring an apprentice as a productive and effective way to develop a motivated workforce. A national survey found 78% of employers said apprentices helped them to improve productivity, while 74% said they have helped with improving the quality of their product or service.

Leaders in Greater Manchester are now urging other SMEs and small businesses to consider setting up their own apprenticeship opportunities and to reap the benefits of hiring apprentices as they continue to play a vital role in the city-region’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)-funded ESF Skills for Growth SME Support, in partnership with GMCA and Greater Manchester’s Levy Matchmaking Service, are hosting a webinar and workshop session for SME employers to learn about apprenticeships, as well as the support available and the benefits they can bring to a business. The session is taking place from 10am to 11.30am on 25th of August.

The Skills for Growth SME Support is a wraparound service for SMEs, including a full service available for apprenticeship schemes which is delivered by the Growth Company and funded by GMCA. A £3,000 incentive is also available from the Government to businesses hiring apprentices from now until the end of September. For further details please visit

Thomas Johnson, director of Allied Vehicle Services in Leigh, said apprentices have played a crucial part in ensuring he has a functioning and skilled workforce.

He said: “We got Charlie through a work experience scheme. He’s interested in the job, he’s committed, he’s punctual and wants to work. As a result we took him on as an apprentice.

“Would I recommend an apprentice to other employers? Definitely. All industry fails without apprentices – we all need this influx of new blood no matter what business you have. If you can’t get new blood, if you can’t get new people in, to train them up to do the job how you want it doing and doing it right then the business will ultimately fail – you need apprentices.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Employers are telling us that apprentices are good for business. They will play an important part in ensuring our city-region’s economy can thrive as well as recover following the pandemic. Apprenticeships are also a great way of training people according to the needs of your business and upskilling your existing workforce.

“I urge SMEs, small businesses and companies to think about the benefits of creating apprenticeship opportunities within their business and the impact apprentices can have on improving your workforce. I strongly recommend attending the webinar session taking place to find out more about the support available.”


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