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Apprenticeship Levy helping to boost the city’s skills pool

Published: Monday, 15th April 2024

As part of its drive to create more apprenticeship opportunities for local people, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has provided almost £100k of funding for apprentices at local engineering firm KMF.

The funding has been provided through the city council’s Apprenticeship Levy and has enabled six KMF employees to access courses and opportunities.

Apprentice Assessor Josh Brookes, 26, has progressed from being an apprentice to training and assessing apprentices himself over the last decade and he will soon be starting a Learning and Skills Mentor course. He said: “The course will enable me to better both myself as a person and a mentor, and also have a really positive effect on KMF’s apprentices. It will allow me a better understanding of how to get apprentices from A to B.”

Continuous Improvement Engineer, Richard Bradshaw, 46 has been with KMF for over two decades and is currently undertaking a Level 4 Improvement Practitioner qualification led by CQM Training and Consultancy. Richard said: “I’m looking forward to being able to be more strategic in how I work and helping both the company, the staff, and myself through this training in which there will be a real focus on the production cycle.”

Jenny Johnstone, from KMF said: “We are so grateful to the city council’s Levy Share support, and we look forward to maintaining this positive relationship so that more of our staff have the opportunity to gain higher-level technical skills and qualifications in the future. We feel that it is beneficial and positive not only for KMF, but also for the skills pool in the city and North Staffordshire, too.

“We are justifiably proud that our Apprenticeship programme has been recognised by the National Apprenticeship Service as ‘World-Class’. We understand that a company is only ever as good as its staff, and that is why their continuous improvement and happiness are so important to us. At KMF, we also recognise that our staff are the major factor in the success of the business, and that’s why employee training and continuous personal development is such an essential ingredient in elevating KMF above our competitors.

“We are passionate about both our current and future workforce. That is why we offer quality in-house training and apprenticeships to existing employees, as well as those wishing to join our expanding, successful company.”

Councillor Jane Ashworth, leader of the city council, said: “It’s great to see the real-world benefits of our Apprenticeship Levy scheme in action. I’m really pleased for the apprentices and staff involved, at KMF and all the companies we work with, that we’re able to use our Apprenticeship Levy to support them to develop their skills and improve their career prospects.

“The Apprenticeship Levy also gives a huge boost to local businesses like KMF, ultimately benefiting the local economy. Any local businesses who want to join KMF and over 20 other companies and organisations in benefitting from our Levy Share offer can contact our fantastic team to find out more.”

For more information about the city council's Levy Share offer please email: ApprenticeshipHub@stoke.gov.uk