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Tameside firm first in North West to be recognised by new apprenticeship scheme

Tameside-based business technology solutions provider Brother UK is the first business in the North West to be recognised by a new government-backed scheme led by Investors in People, the workplace quality accreditors.

The firm is one of only nine UK companies to receive the new ‘We Invest in Apprenticeships’ accreditation, which has been developed with the Department of Education to recognise the consistent delivery of high-quality apprenticeships.

The framework assesses businesses on their commitment to apprenticeship schemes, the development of their learners and the support they’re provided.

The success follows a busy National Apprenticeship Week for Brother UK, which saw its current apprentices take over the company’s Twitter page for the day and work alongside local schools, including Oldham College, Copley Academy and Audenshaw School, to provide guidance and inspiration for pupils to take up apprenticeships.

The business says it is committed to ensuring apprentices from school leavers to diploma trainees and degree learners account for five per cent of its workforce. Upon completion, former apprentices have gone on to take up diverse roles within the company.

Gemmer Crozier, who completed her apprenticeship in 2014, now leads the company’s green strategy as a sustainable development coordinator, while programme graduate Lewis Johnstone was recently recognised as a rising star by UK business supplies and services trade association BOSS.

Sam Johnson, learning and organisational development manager at Brother UK, said: “Our people are central to every success we achieve as a business. Investing in their development not only creates a positive working culture, but also ensures we have a sustainable future by generating the skills we need to grow.

“Our apprenticeship programme represents a vital part of this, enabling us to bring in new talent while providing an opportunity to support the young people in the communities we work in. Our award-winning scheme is a testament to the efforts we have put into it and the value we place on our learners and we look forward to building on the success we’ve achieved.”

Caitlyn Bloor, who recently completed her apprenticeship with Brother UK, said: “My apprenticeship was an invaluable experience for me. There were times when lockdown made things quite challenging but my colleagues and mentors were very supportive, keeping in contact with me regularly and investing in distance learning. Their efforts really made me feel a valued member of the team throughout, and they helped to give me the knowledge and skills to secure a Level 3 Distinction.”

Brother UK was also recognised for Best Apprenticeship Programme at the Print IT Awards last month, for going above and beyond in championing apprentices. The accolade also follows Brother UK retaining its Investors In People platinum status and a Princess Royal Training Award, which recognises its commitment to developing employees.

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