Fighting skills shortages In-Comm Training reports record take-up of engineering apprenticeships
In-Comm Training, based in the West Midlands/UK, has reported a 35 percent increase in the recruitment of engineering apprentices this September. This surge reflects a growing interest in vocational learning and apprenticeships in the engineering sector of the region.
Interest in engineering apprentices is booming in the West Midlands after In-Comm Training announced a 35 percent increase in the number of starts this September. One of the UK’s leading training providers has recruited 199 individuals 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 to the budding engineers of the future, In-Comm Training also successfully inducted 25 learners onto its Level 4 HNC programme — highlighting a strong move towards upskilling 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.”
He continued: “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 percent of our new Telford cohort girls and nearly 19 percent 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 seven percent.”
The first cohort of learners have already started at both sites, with the second one set to begin shortly. Apprentices will go through a one-week induction to their specific programme before progressing into workshops that blend theory with practical training on manual and CNC machines, and over ten million pounds 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 spending the rest of the course at their employers, gaining experience and knowledge from work-based mentors.
Jayne Guest, Recruitment Manager at In-Comm Training, concluded: “We will be continuing our recruitment of apprentices throughout the coming months for our early 2024 cohorts and then the big recruitment drive from Christmas kicks-off again — to fulfil our September and October 2024 starts.”