Skills minister visits Sheffield Forgemasters apprentices

Sheffield Forgemasters showcased its award-winning apprenticeship programme when it welcomed Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning John Hayes for a site visit.

John Hayes MP, who is responsible for apprenticeships as part of his role as a Minister for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), made the visit during National Apprenticeship Week.

Sheffield Forgemasters is recognised as one of the country’s leading apprenticeship providers and Mr Hayes spoke to some of the current 70 Sheffield Forgemasters apprentices to find out what makes the company’s apprenticeship scheme among the best in the UK.

Mr Hayes was also taken on a tour of the company’s Brightside Lane site.

Sheffield Forgemasters chief executive Graham Honeyman, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Hayes to Sheffield Forgemasters during National Apprenticeship Week. We place a high importance on apprenticeships and we were happy to demonstrate how we offer our apprentices a great opportunity to pursue rewarding careers in engineering.

“Our Forge Operations Director, Gareth Barker and South machine Shop Director Chris Archer, started at the company as apprentices and are now divisional directors - a perfect example of the success of our apprenticeship scheme.

“We are proud of our apprentices and our apprenticeship scheme, and we hope that John found his tour of the site both productive and enjoyable.”

Skills Minister John Hayes said: "These apprentices are immersed in a programme that will provide them with lifelong skills and invaluable experience. Sheffield Forgemasters has achieved worldwide success, and investing in a new generation of trainees will help them drive even more growth in this vital sector.

“This is a shining example of how a strong apprenticeship programme can build a successful business.

“Apprenticeship Week showcases how this Government is working with employers to transform the skills landscape for young people. Record levels of investment are delivering more apprenticeships than ever before alongside rigorous quality standards and new opportunities for learners to develop their talents to degree level and beyond."