Apprenticeship webinar available to watch: Use it or you WILL lose it

The BMRA’s Education and Training Committee has said that the Metal Recycling General Operative (MRGO) apprenticeship is under threat if more companies do not take up the opportunity to fully train an operative where the Government pays 95% of the cost of training.

A webinar has been held to help metal recycling companies looking to utilise the only sector-specific metal recycling apprenticeship.

There is insight from metal recyclers; Susie Burrage OBE of Recycled Products Ltd and BMRA President, Hayley Mellor of Mellor Metals, and Rachel Hart from Recycling Lives, who have themselves employed an apprentice.

Tom Russell, Learning and Development Manager at EMR, went through the incentives for businesses and how apprenticeship funding works which can see some business get 95% funding for the cost of training. 

Chris Williams, Head of Learning and Development at EMR and chair of the BMRA's Education and Training committee, said: "As of today the MRGO is potentially at risk because we don't have the numbers. A lot of time and effort has been invested in getting this apprenticeship over the line. Waste qualifications are not specific to the industry and this is the only qualification that is specific to this industry. Give it some serious thought and any questions please get in touch with us".

For further information regarding the apprenticeship, please email [email protected].

Click the below to watch the webinar:


Why employ an apprentice?

With an ageing workforce and a seemingly ever-decreasing pool of willing and capable workers, apprenticeships are a great and cost-effective way to plug the current employment gap in the metal recycling sector.

Apprenticeships are suitable for people at any level so you can hire someone new or put forward an existing employee, allowing you to develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. It also enables skilled workers looking to retire to pass on their knowledge.

As well as undertaking the core learnings, apprentices need to choose from one of five specialist routes:

  • End-of-Life Vehicles Operative
  • Material Classification Operative
  • Material Handler (Specialist Equipment) Operative
  • Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment Operative
  • Weighbridge Operative

Four reasons why companies should be looking at apprenticeships:

  1. The Government will pay 95% of the cost of training a new apprentice for small businesses. This means they only pay £450.
  2. Non-levy paying businesses could get funding from a levy paying employer which would remove the requirement for them to pay the 5%.
  3. Employers do not need to pay Class 1 National insurance contributions for apprentices under 25.
  4. Businesses can choose to pay the National Minimum Wage for apprentices which, for those aged 19 or over in their first year is £4.90 per hour and thereafter rises to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for their age.