A 21-year-old apprentice has told Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones how securing an apprenticeship with a local family business is helping both her and her employer reach their goals.
Emily Negus joined Nuneaton digital archiving firm, Genus, as an apprentice in 2018.
Marcus Jones MP Meets Local Apprentice Thriving At Nuneaton Digital Archiving Firm
The privately owned family firm, which is benefiting from the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund, supported by Lloyds Banking Group, makes and distributes microfilm consumables to more than 60 countries around the world.
Genus also offers state of the art microfilm conversion and heritage document scanning services, working on archiving projects with a diverse range of clients such as Radio Times, BBC, British Museum, Imperial War Museum, British Racing Motors, British Library, National Archives and the National Army Museum.
Emily had considered going to university, but chose the apprenticeship route because it offered her the chance to study for a degree level qualification while gaining hands on experience and, crucially, earning a wage.
Genus employs 30 people across its Nuneaton headquarters including Emily, the first apprentice the firm has taken on through the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund scheme.
Launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority in 2019, the scheme enables large employers to pledge their unspent apprenticeship levy to fund the training of apprentices at SMEs. Lloyds Banking Group was one of the first large employers to back the Fund with a pledge of £3m – since then, more than £21m has been pledged to support over 1,800 apprentices at 613 SMEs across the region.
Following his visit, Marcus Jones MP said: “It was really interesting to see first-hand the work this longstanding family business does, and fantastic to meet Emily and learn about her journey.
“There are so many large businesses that cannot use all of their levy payments on apprentices of their own, so the transfer fund presents a great opportunity for them to support smaller firms, and help to create the skilled jobs that will retain and attract young people to Nuneaton.”
As part of his visit, Mr Jones also spoke to Genus company director Chris Elwell about the challenges and opportunities for small businesses in taking on apprentices and the potential for them to fill the skills gaps that many sectors in the Midlands currently face.
As part of its bid to help young people experience the types of skilled jobs that are on offer in the area and spot future talent, Genus has also taken on work placement pupils from local college – North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.
Genus director Chris Elwell added: “Both Emily and the college pupils we work with are eager to learn quickly and they make a huge difference to our business.
“Apprenticeships are vital in helping small businesses to attract new talent and generate high skilled employees. For young people, they provide a much-needed opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills that will be attractive to any employer and really enhance their career prospects.”
Jo Harris, Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador for the Midlands, said: “Sharing our levy funds through this incredibly valuable scheme has already helped to create more than 300 apprenticeship roles in the West Midlands, building skills in areas including STEM and digital.
“It is a privilege to be able to support the progress of young people like Emily to develop the skills that employers in industry really want and need. We believe apprenticeships have the power to fill vital skills gaps, drive innovation and ultimately support our journey to helping Britain recover.”