Midland Tool and Design (MTD) has teamed up with Dudley College to attract more people to take up engineering apprenticeships in the West Midlands.
With annual turnover increasing 50%, to around £3 million, MTD has started to expand its 35-strong workforce. But while they added nine new staff in 2010, bosses were surprised at the lack of West Midlands youngsters looking for apprenticeships.
Managing director Darren Booton commented: "Engineering apprenticeships are becoming more popular around the country, apparently, but this has not been the case in our experience.
"The need for apprentices in our industry has never been greater as manufacturing and engineering are making strong recoveries from the recession.
"And we thought in the country's manufacturing heartland – the West Midlands – we would have no shortage of suitable applicants.
"Sadly that's not happened, so we teamed up with Dudley College to help grow our own business and benefit the region's manufacturing sector as a whole."
The firm has already taken on their first apprentice, 19-year-old Gareth Vickers, and will be looking to add another two or three in 2011.
Much of MTD's success in 2010 came after they gained the AS9100 accreditation, which has brought in several projects related to the A380 Airbus, and launched Modulam, its unique prototyping system. They have also been heavily involved in work for the New York underground system.