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Specialist workwear business launches Apprentice Fund for SMEs

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A leading supplier of personalised workwear has launched a fund to support apprenticeships in SMEs, providing branded uniform for new starters across a range of industries this summer.

The Workwear Express Apprenticeship Fund is giving away £1,000 in free, branded workwear to small and medium sized employers from its range of uniform starter packs, put together with small to medium sized business in mind.

The initiative forms part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to apprenticeships providing the opportunity to be awarded one of four packages of head to toe branded clothing to the value of £250 which could clothe up to 10 new starters or existing apprentices across a range of sectors from construction, logistics and transport to catering and hospitality.

Applications by employers are now being accepted for the Apprenticeship Fund and will run until midnight on 21 June 2019. 

General Manager Simon Maw, who was the firm’s first ever apprentice, 13 years ago, has first-hand experience of the benefits that an apprenticeship can bring: “The value of apprentices to a growing business like ours are huge. We have a number of apprentices in a variety of roles within our business, we’re essentially developing our staff to meet both our current and future needs from day one on the job.”

“Our business is built on protecting your brand. We know that having appropriate, high quality branded uniform for apprentices and new starters ensures that they are giving your customers the right impression of your business from the day they arrive on site.”

Speaking on a video made by Workwear Express’ own apprentices to promote the fund, Mark Collins, an apprentice in the Key Accounts Department says: “Having the correct branded uniform makes apprentices like us feel like part of a team and it also helps your business to look professional, because we can be professionally clothed ambassadors for your business.”

The fund is open to businesses that would like to benefit from a financial boost to pay for workwear for new starters, students and apprentices. Four grants of £250 will be awarded, covering a variety of workplaces including logistics and transport, manufacturing and facilities management, construction, catering and hospitality, healthcare, business and office work.

Workwear Express customer Michael Oakley, Operations Manager from process services company Conduent said: ‘’I have been using Workwear Express to create and provide incentive based prizes and welcome gifts to all new starters to our core company.

“We often make very large orders through to the team here at Workwear Express and some of the call out points I would like to make about the treatment we receive are as such: Beth and the team are always timely, warm and supportive – we have great conversations over the telephone and the rapport between our business and Workwear Express is top notch! The quality of the products are very good and the prices are in line with what we can afford within our budget spending.’’

Workwear Express is leading supplier of personalised workwear, uniform and promotional clothing. A full-service company, it has more than 100,000 active customers across its three divisions – e-commerce, key accounts and international. It offers services including embroidery, print and transfer all under one roof.

Mark Collins

One of the faces of the Apprenticeship Fund initiative is 18-year old Mark Collins who has a month to go on his business administration apprenticeship at Workwear Express and works in the key accounts team.

“I always knew that I didn’t want to go to university like all of my friends. I knew I wanted to get a head start in business and the apprenticeship route has given me that.” explains Mark

“I have had the chance to work with some really talented people. On a daily basis I will talk to CEOs and senior managers in our customers’ businesses, something that I feel has given me a head start in my career.

“Being responsive is very important to our business. One-to-one relationships mean that our blue-chip customers have a central point of contact, there is always someone on the end of the phone who is ready to help.”

Alongside his day-to-day activities Mark has also grown a lot through the hands-on, teamwork approach at the firm, “The support I have had has been really good. I look back and think of how much I have learned about business in the past year. I now understand how business works, I have built up a strong network already. I also have a lot of skills that I have learned along the way and that will stand me in good stead for the future.”

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