And the move builds on a highly successful model to date which has generated over 60 skilled pre-apprentice placements in five years.

Birmingham-headquartered engineering firm adi Group has joined forces with King's Norton Boys' School, in an agreement which will see twelve students given the opportunity to develop core mechanical and electrical engineering skills alongside their regular studies.

Igniting engineering passions and boosting future employment prospects across the region, the newly forged partnership builds on adi’s work with North Bromsgrove High School in a similar capacity, allowing a new generation of youngsters to take their place on adi’s unique pre apprenticeship scheme:

“We’re delighted to welcome King’s Norton Boys’ School to the adi family,” said adi Group CEO and founder, Alan Lusty.

“This move comes at a key point in time when young people are looking to rebuild their futures after a stop-start educational pattern in the pandemic.

“The engineering industry also continues to work towards filling a widening skills gap, so from a twofold perspective, we are delighted to be bringing on board a new partnership that will help fulfil the needs of both our business and the wider engineering sector.”

As part of the new plans, the first intake from King’s Norton Boys’ School were welcomed this month to adi’s headquarters, where they met programme mentors and toured the firm’s custom-built training facilities, ahead of the new pre-apprenticeship class beginning in September.

The students, aged 14, will spend one afternoon a week during term time, across two years, plying their hands on engineering skills for a chance to earn a future career in engineering and an Engineering and Learning accredited qualification as part of their GCSE grades.

If successful, the youngsters will receive the opportunity to move into adi’s Apprenticeship Academy, with a full-time apprenticeship potentially paving way to a career working with some of the biggest manufacturing brands amongst adi’s roster.

“This is an incredible opportunity for young people,” said adi Group strategic account director, James Sopwith.

“What we are aiming to do is invite a new generation in, give them the tools they need to succeed and open their eyes to the wealth of opportunities our industry has to offer.

“This isn’t the low-paid, oil-rags and overalls work that sometimes, unfairly, characterises the engineering sector.

“This is highly-skilled, highly rewarding career pathways, opening up a world of possibilities of working, amongst others, with well known food and drink brands and household automotive names, that we can count among our client partners.”

As part of the pre-apprenticeship model, a range of stakeholders will be regularly assessing performance and upholding standards on the course, including King’s Norton Boys’ School headteacher Dave Clayton, who remarked on the course’s promise for young people:

“We are delighted to have 12 of our students joining adi Group’s pre-apprenticeship,” he said.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for them to develop new skills in a workplace environment.

“With the support of adi and their mentors, we are certain this opportunity will enable them to thrive in their studies and help them realise their potential."

For more information on future careers with the adi Group, visit https://www.adiltd.co.uk/