Manufacturers back apprenticeship investment despite pandemic

Employers are still showing a strong commitment to developing the next generation of workers, according to a leading West Midlands training provider.

In-Comm Training, which operates three technical academies across the Black County and Shropshire, has just released almost two-dozen new vacancies for young people and mature workers looking to train in administration, operations or various disciplines of engineering.

Apprenticeships range from toolmaking, lean manufacturing and welding to admin, engineering, warehousing and machinists, with some providing a clear pathway all the way to a degree.

The recruitment drive has been launched after 10 employers from across the region pledged their commitment to developing the next generation of workers, including Cedo, Gotronic and SMB Pressings.

In-Comm Training, which is also recruiting for three Engineering Tutors, has been asking employers in the West Midlands to back its Skills Pledge, which invites them to commit to supporting apprentices, raising the profile of vocational learning and ‘upskilling’ their workforces.

Its ‘Powering the Engine’ campaign aims to ensure the business world doesn’t sacrifice the investment and time it has channelled into developing the talent required to help reignite the economy.

The three pledges for the ‘Powering the Engine’ campaign include:

  • Apprenticeship Ambassadors – the company and an apprentice will give up one hour of their time to participate in promoting the benefits of apprenticeships
  • Skills Support for the Workforce – a commitment to put some of its staff through upskilling courses over the next 12 months
  • Apprenticeship Recruitment – to recruit one or more apprentices every year 

It has been a plea that has been embraced by local firms, with more than 40 taking the pledge, including Brandauer, Glassworks Hounsell, Epwin and SDE Technology.

Bekki Phillips, Managing Director of In-Comm Training, commented: “The message we are getting loud and clear is that a skilled workforce that can adapt is crucial to the recovery.”

In-Comm Training has spent more than £7m on creating three cutting-edge academies in Aldridge, Bridgnorth and Shrewsburty.

The academics feature IT Suites, CNC machining zones, fluid power departments, metrology rooms, more than 25 welding bays and a specialist heritage engineering cell.