40 new apprenticeships thanks to investment

Forty new apprenticeships are now available at Shropshire training provider, In-Comm Training, thanks to £200,000 investment.

The In-Comm Training Academy Shrewsbury (ITAS) has created 40 apprenticeship places thanks to an investment of £200,000 in new manufacturing facilities.

ITAS is run in partnership with Salop Design & Engineering and will benefit from new TIG, MIG and ARC welding bays, as well as a new fluid power section that will cater for students looking for a career in hydraulics and pneumatics.

There are also plans to create a new cell that will specialise in automation and electronics, this will mean that young engineers will be able to choose from more than 15 industry apprenticeships.

Managing director at Salop Design & Engineering, Richard Homden explained: “It has been a very encouraging first year for ITAS, with 28 apprentices currently in their advanced second year with view to having a positive impact at more than 10 local employers.

“The skills gap is real and affecting thousands of manufacturing businesses in the UK. We knew we wanted to do something about it and not just rely on the Government to come up with the answers.

“We had space in our factory in Shrewsbury to house an academy and used our relationship with In-Comm to install the machinery and adopt some of the best training courses in industry. The first cohort is really excelling and I’m delighted to say we’ll be taking a further 40 budding engineers on in March and September.”

In order to cope with the new cohort, ITAS has had to take on another two experts to its six person team.

Managing director of In-Comm Training, Gareth Jones commented: “The popularity of apprenticeships is growing rapidly and we are starting to see the first big employers look to partner with us at ITAS to make the most of the soon to be introduced levy.

“GKN Land Systems in Telford was one of the first participants and we are currently in discussions with another twenty businesses across Shropshire. ITAS is a fantastic resource for manufacturers and the further £200,000 investment, combined with the highly skilled team we have at our disposal, will make it even better.”

ITAS, which is currently working with Thomas Adams School in Wem to offer day releases to Year 10 and 11 students, is closely aligned to the recently launched £3m Marches Centre of Manufacturing and Technology (MCMT) in Bridgnorth. The academy is able to access all of the facilities at the MCMT and vice versa, depending on employer requirements.