Over 280 apprenticeship opportunities available at In-Comm Training

2 min read

A training provider serving the Black Country and Shropshire has more than 280 apprenticeship opportunities currently available and is urging companies and young people to engage. Gareth Jones, joint managing director at In-Comm Training, made the rallying call this week and believes there are still lots of individuals looking to get involved in engineering and manufacturing who are not taking advantage of the world-class training centres on their doorstep.

In-Comm Training, which operates a technical academy in Aldridge and the Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology in Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury, has recently embarked on a major recruitment drive to showcase how vocational learning can help bridge the current and future skills gap, and provide career opportunities for youngsters and more mature workers looking to switch jobs.

Over £7 million has been invested in the three facilities alone, offering over 40,000 sq ft of dedicated manufacturing training space, including the latest CNC machine tools, automation, robotics, metrology and 3D printing systems. These resources are reinforced by access to industry-experienced trainers and 11 technical partners, including Blum-Novotest, Ceratizit WNT, Engineering Technology Group, Guhring, Hexagon, HK3D and Hyfore Workholding.

“Companies are coming forward and saying they want to invest in apprentices; that challenge has been overcome to a certain degree,” states Jones, who runs the business with his sister Bekki Phillips. “We now need to make sure that, as a region, we’ve got a pipeline of young people or more mature learners to fill them.

“At the moment we have 280 positions vacant at our three academies, and these are for part and full-time trailblazer courses that culminate with a job at a local manufacturer,” he continues. “This means you can learn from the best trainers, on the best equipment and get paid for it, with our partners at the University of Wolverhampton also offering a pathway to a degree – all without the associated debt. That’s a £100,000 opportunity. Current vacancies range from apprenticeships in machining and maintenance, to mechatronics and welding.”

The recent annual In-Comm ‘Training Barometer’, which is designed to take the temperature of industry’s appetite for training, revealed that 83% of firms are still committed to taking on the next generation of engineers despite issues around the UK leaving the EU.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of companies have already put aside budget to recruit apprentices over the next 12 months, with a surprising number of businesses (60%) stating they feel the Apprenticeship Levy is working. Of those that felt the Apprenticeship Levy was not working, more than half said a lack of understanding was to blame for a lack of take-up, followed by 21% who felt the right training was not available and 13% bemoaning a dearth of good quality training providers.

The report also highlighted that more than half of firms (54%) preferred part-time courses over the full-time option, while 40% of companies engaged in apprenticeships do not use them for upskilling. This could be attributed to a lack of knowledge of what apprenticeships can be used for, or the stigma still attached to this type of training and the notion that it is usually reserved for young people or someone at a basic skills level.