Black Country firm named ‘Apprenticeship Provider of the Year’

A unique employer-led approach to vocational learning has helped a Black Country training provider secure one of the UK’s most prestigious training awards.

FE Week
Annual Apprenticeship Conference and Exhibition.
ICC Birmingham
Picture By Gareth Davies

In-Comm Training, which operates three state-of-the-art academies in Aldridge, Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury, overcome competition from more than 350 rivals to secure the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year title at a glittering finale held by FE Week and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers.

The high-profile judging panel praised the firm for the way that it has placed businesses at the heart of its approach, using the expertise, knowledge and requirements of engineering and manufacturing companies to shape the way courses are delivered and the technology it invests in.

This has seen it work with more than 450 different businesses across the UK and contributed to an impressive 40 per cent uptake in starts over the last twelve months – all achieved in the face of a downward trend in apprenticeship engagement.

Gareth Jones, joint Managing Director at In-Comm Training, commented: “We know that our approach is different, but to have it recognised on a national scale, against companies ten times our size, is a tremendous achievement.

“It really makes a difference and underlines that what we are doing is working and, importantly, recognises the efforts of our staff – many of whom have spent years working in industry before making the switch to a trainer.”

In-Comm Training, which is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, has masterminded £7m of investment in its three academies, offering over 40,000 sq ft of dedicated manufacturing training space, including the latest CNC machine tools, automation, robotics, metrology solutions and 3D printing.

This is reinforced by access to industry-experienced trainers and 11 technical partners, who include Blum-Novotest, Ceratizit WNT, Engineering Technology Group, Guhring, Hexagon, HK3D and Hyfore Workholding.

It currently has over 280 apprenticeship positions vacant and these are for part and full-time trailblazer courses with a job at a local manufacturer guaranteed at the end of it.

Bekki Phillips, joint Managing Director, concluded: “Being named as the National Apprenticeship Training Provider of the year is great for raising the In-Comm brand and we will use the accolade to help us take our employer-led model to other regions across the UK.”

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