The Source has helped a Sheffield steel company forge a stronger and more skilled workforce.

The Sheffield skills and training academy has now placed nine apprentices at city stockholder Murray Steel Products, which supplies structural sections, steel plate and profiles to companies across the UK.

The average age of the workforce has been reduced and skills are being passed down to young apprentices who have swiftly got up to speed.

Operations manager Mark Hewitt tapped into The Source’s apprentice matchmaking expertise back in 2012.

“We have seen huge benefits from our nine-year relationship with The Source. Traditionally, if there was a vacancy, particularly in warehousing, we asked employees to recommend people. Now, we go straight to The Source. Its team does the vetting process stringently, learns exactly what we require, then finds us the right people,” he said.

“The proof of the pudding is that every single apprentice they have provided has stayed with the company.”

A registered charity which ploughs its profits back into community work, The Source has specialised in apprenticeships since 2007.

One apprentice The Source found for Murray Steel in 2018 went on to be shortlisted for a national award.

Economics student Kristina Kolar came to the UK in 2014 aged 18. The Source supported her through a Level 3 business administration apprenticeship at Murray Steel. She was highly commended in the National Association of Steel Stockholders’ apprentice awards in 2019 and is now a respected member of the company’s business support teams across three divisions.

The pandemic put the company’s recruiting on hold in 2020, but three more apprentices have since joined.

Caiden Latham, 18, of Parson Cross, recently passed his warehouse Level 2 apprenticeship with distinction and now has a permanent job.

Dylan Clark, of Fox Hill, is following suit. He began a business admin Level 3 apprenticeship in September last year, now works as an operations assistant and has soared in confidence and ability.

Oscar Liversidge arrived on a business admin Level 3 in July. The Middlewood 18-year-old is getting up to speed as an admin worker in the structural and plate team and showing great promise.

“The standards these three young men have set have been exemplary,” said Mark. “We are about to set on a fourth and have high hopes he will follow in their footsteps.”

Impressed older employees have also asked for apprenticeships to boost their skills and knowledge. Danny Steers, Mason Crooks, Carla Housley, Ellis Hewitt and Holly Young have gained Level 2, 3 and 4 qualifications.

Kerry Cook, business advisor at The Source, added: “I very carefully consider every person I put forward as a prospective apprentice.

“From the outset, Dylan, Oscar and Ollie conveyed focus, determination and a very clear understanding of what they wanted from an apprenticeship – a role which could provide career prospects as an alternative to university. This is something I know will be supported at Murray Steel, where employees are given every opportunity to flourish.”