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Grundfos looks to engineer a brighter future

A global manufacturer is injecting new talent into its North East workforce by tapping into support from Sunderland City Council.

Grundfos, the world’s largest manufacturer of pumps and pump solutions, has recruited six apprentices as it looks to invest in the future.

The company, which first opened a Sunderland base 47 years ago, has long been an advocate of apprenticeships and made the decision to ramp up its efforts earlier this year, to ensure it has a steady flow of talent in its pipeline for years to come.

Employing over 140 people at the plant, Grundfos boasts an incredibly loyal workforce - with many of its employees having worked there for a number of decades – and is hoping its new recruits will help support the continued growth of the business.

Graham Moore, operations controlling partner at Grundfos, said: “Grundfos has been based in Sunderland for almost half a century now. However, this would never have been possible without our fantastic workforce, many of whom were recruited locally and have worked their way up through the company into senior positions.

“As an organisation, we’ve always been a big believer in apprenticeships and believe that all businesses, especially manufacturers, have a role to play in helping nurture the workers of the future and we’re delighted to have extended our apprenticeship programme for 2020.”

Grundfos received funding to meet the training costs of three of its six apprentices courtesy of Sunderland City Council’s Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Scheme.

Under the scheme organisations which pay the Apprenticeship Levy, such as Sunderland City Council, can transfer a proportion of any unspent levy to other employers to fund the training and assessment costs of new apprenticeship starts, which can be a new recruit or existing member of staff. 

As part of this the Council is keen to support apprenticeships at Level 3 or above in businesses such as Grundfos which operate in one of its key priority sectors.  These include engineering and manufacturing, digital and creative, health, wellbeing and social care, and financial and customer services, with support also available through the scheme for social enterprises and co-operative businesses.

Graham added: “We had already planned to take on our six apprentices however after speaking to the team at Sunderland City Council and finding out we were eligible to receive support from the Transfer Scheme, we decided to look into it and were delighted with the result.

“Not only has the funding alleviated the financial commitment of taking on some of the apprentices, but it also means we’ll be in a better position to further extend our programme next year and bring more young talent into the business.

“Taking on an apprenticeship is a big investment for any company, as not only does it mean committing four-years to put them through training, but it also costs tens of thousands of pounds and this is often quite off putting for many businesses, especially SMEs.

“The Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Scheme really helps de-risk the commitment and I’d encourage any business thinking of recruiting an apprentice, especially those put off by the financial outlay, to tap into the support on offer. It’s a fantastic initiative."

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic, the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Scheme is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to continue upskilling their workforce and ensuring our key sectors have a sustainable pipeline of talent for years to come.

“Grundfos, as a company which has been rooted in the city for decades, is a fantastic example of this and we’re delighted to learn that they’re actively looking to expand their apprenticeship programme as a direct result of the support they’ve received from the scheme.” 

For more information on the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Scheme, visit: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/apprenticeship-levy