The Duke of Kent has officially opened a manufacturing and engineering Training Academy in Redditch, Worcestershire that aims to provide young people with the vital skills needed for the modern workplace.
The £250,000 dedicated training centre is the brainchild of integrated design and manufacturing company, Heartbeat UK – which specialises in retail display innovation.
The Birmingham-based company began its training programme 18 months, and since then has had an more than 80% success rate among its learners, who have gone to start work and apprenticeships.
The academy has just launched a 16-week programme for up to 40 learners covering a range of skills, including: engineering and manufacturing, fabrication and welding, warehouse and storage training, carpentry, and shop fitting.
The learners will also receive English, maths and employment support, plus 16-days’ work experience, job search support, plus fully certified Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card assistance. Once they have successfully completed the programme, it’s anticipated that they will be able to apply for jobs at Heartbeat and its suppliers in the Redditch area.
Heartbeat UK’s academy has been supported by the Job Centre, as well as working with charities, ex-offenders, and drug rehabilitation centres to recruit learners for the training and apprenticeship programme.
It won a £83,000 grant from Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Worcestershire Growth Fund to support the investment in the training programme.
The training academy is reportedly aligned to the LEP’s priority sectors of advanced manufacturing and engineering, helping to reduce unemployment in the Worcestershire area, and providing jobs by developing a skilled workforce.
Group managing director of Heartbeat UK, James Pritchard explained: “We recognised that there is a real skills gap in this country, so we are very keen to play our part in helping the next generation of engineers and manufacturers receive the high quality, tailored training, as well as gain the right attitudes and personal skills they need to begin a sustainable career.”
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