The Black Country’s In-Comm Training has received an outstanding rating across all areas of the business by Ofsted following its latest inspection.
The accolade by Ofsted puts In-Comm Training in the top 12% of providers across the UK.
The Grade One verdict recognises that apprentices achieve ‘outstanding’ qualifications that help prepare them for promotion and their future career, that leaners achieve high levels of Maths, English and IT, and most budding engineers secure high grades in their technical training.
Inspectors were also impressed with the rigorous governance arrangements in place and the quality and experience of the trainers, who support learners in their rapid progression.
Joint managing director of In-Comm Training, Gareth Jones explained: “To secure ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected with the business…our management team, our trainers, our partners and, importantly, the 400+ apprentices and learners we support every year.
“Over the last three years, we have worked tirelessly to raise the profile of vocational learning, in order to meet the acknowledged skills gap and have put in place a number of ambitious plans to make sure we are seen as an ‘outstanding provider’.
He continued: “This includes employing the best staff and investing more than £1m in the latest workshop equipment, including new CNC capabilities, millers, lathes, welding bays, a fluid power section and CAD suite. Ofsted’s ‘Outstanding’ rating reinforces that what we are doing is working.”
In-Comm, which received a ‘Good’ inspection in 2015 and has been offering industry and commerce a wide range of training and business solutions for 35 years, was also praised for the work it’s doing with industry to help bridge the skills gap and to ensure companies are achieving their strategic aims by having access to skilled people.
Inspectors cited that employers play a significant role in planning and delivering high-quality apprenticeship programmes and that leaders and managers are highly responsive in meeting the skills needs of the region.
Bekki Phillips, joint managing director, commented: “We spent a lot of time working with firms in our area and they all told us that they would invest more in training if it gave them future employees ready for work.
“Our Improvement Planning from the previous Ofsted inspection was key to achieving this and focused on learners developing their skills rapidly to ensure they were ready to undertake the significant responsibility required by employers.”
Phillips added: “Once we had this approach finalised, we threw down the gauntlet to a number of key partners and the first success came when Salop Design & Engineering agreed to join forces with us on ITAS, a new academy supporting 40 learners in Shrewsbury.
“More recently, we have played a key role in shaping the £3m Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) in Bridgnorth, alongside Salop, Classic Motor Cars and Grainger & Worrall. This venture will create ‘2,020 learning opportunities between now and 2020’.
“That’s not all. We’re also about to launch a series of nationwide advanced technical academies in partnership with a leading CNC machine supplier.”