15 February 2017

Shropshire training academy sees £200,000 investment

A training academy in Shropshire has created 40 new apprenticeship opportunities by investing a further £200,000 into new manufacturing facilities.

The In-Comm Training Academy Shrewsbury (ITAS) is set to benefit from new TIG, MIG and ARC welding bays, along with a new fluid power section to cater for students looking to pursue a career in hydraulics and pneumatics. A new cell has also been announced that will specialise in automation and electrics, giving young engineers pathways through as many as 15 different areas of industry.

ITAS is run in partnership with Salop Design & Engineering, whose managing director, Richard Homden, is adamant that the academy will help bridge the skills gap in UK manufacturing. “The skills gap is real and affecting thousands of manufacturing businesses in the UK,” he said. “We knew we wanted to do something about it and not just rely on the government to come up with the answers.

“We had space in our factory in Shrewsbury to house an academy and used our relationship with In-Comm to install the machinery and adopt some of the best training courses in industry. The first cohort is really excelling and I’m delighted to say we’ll be taking a further 40 budding engineers in March and September.”

ITAS has also made two key appointments to help cope with the expected growth. Experienced engineering instructor Dave Vickers and a welding specialist from the RAF have joined the six-strong team of trainers all focused on combatting the ‘competency gap’, where training is immediately applied to real-world situations.

“The popularity of apprenticeships is growing rapidly and we are starting to see the first big employers look to partner with us at ITAS to make the most of the soon-to-be-introduced levy,” said In-Comm Training’s managing director, Gareth Jones. “ITAS is a fantastic resource for manufacturers and the further £200,000 investment, combined with the highly skilled team we have at our disposal, will make it even better.”

Chris Beck

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