Apprentice taken on by wiremaker

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A Sheffield wire manufacturer boasting a three decade staff retention record has turned to apprenticeships to replace skills lost with a retiring workforce.

Fox Wire in Stocksbridge has taken on its first apprentice since 2012, working with training organisations EAL and Semta Apprenticeship Service to develop a programme to foster a future generation of engineers.

The 150-year-old company, the UK’s largest stainless steel wire manufacturer, has 51 employees with an average service of 27 years.

“We have three employees who have been with the company over 40 years!” said Shaun Stancliffe, Fox Wire’s operations director, who is responsible for modernising the business and recruiting new talent.

“It is a fantastic asset to have such a loyal workforce but with many set to retire in the next five years we needed not just a backup plan but also something which helps the business continually improve.

Fox applied to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers scheme which provides £1,500 grants for companies with less than 1,000 employees who take on an apprentice aged 16-24.