Training provider sees record levels of engineering apprentices

A Walsall training provider has recruited 199 engineering apprentices, a 35% increase from the previous year.

In-Comm Training has students across its Aldridge and Telford technical academies, with learners starting their careers in machining, robotics, welding, electrical, mechatronics and toolmaking.

Companies including Ansaldo Nuclear, Altrad Babcock, HS Marston Aerospace, Magna Cosma Castings, Makita, RBSL and Veolia, are taking the long-term approach to beating the current labour and skills shortage by opting to grow their own.

In addition, In-Comm Training has also placed 25 learners on its Level 4 HNC programme – as companies look towards upskilling their workers.

Paul Hodgetts, business development manager at In-Comm Training commented: “We have been able to fill nearly 90 additional vacancies this year, which is great news for local employers and a massive indication that vocational learning is in the ascendancy.

“There is a lot of opportunity for industry at the moment, but the ability to scale up is being held back by access to both the right people and the volume of individuals in the labour pool.

“The results of our Training Barometer clearly showed that industry was waking up to the importance of developing their own staff and apprenticeships now being accepted as a credible career development choice.”

“In-Comm has also had a big drive on equality and diversity, making sure industry is seen as a career for all. This is paying off with 30% of our new Telford cohort girls and nearly 19% of our Aldridge learners coming from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background. The latter is an impressive stat when you consider the national average for engineering is just 7%.”

Apprentices will go through a 1-week induction to their specific programme before progressing into workshops that blend theory with practical training on manual and CNC machines, and over £10m of metrology, CAD, fluid power, robotics and wire EDM Capabilities.

Depending on their pathway, they will be either full-time at In-Comm or part-time and spend the rest of the course at their employers, gaining experience and knowledge from work-based mentors.