Skills boost as In-Comm unveils £300,000 training academy in Shropshire

The wraps have come off a new £300,000 training academy for young engineers in Shropshire.

In-Comm has expanded their offer by opening the academy at the home of Shrewsbury-based Salop Design and Engineering, which will see the company support 60 apprentices a year to boost local manufacturers.

The Shropshire-based metalworking specialist has spent the last two months building the 10,000 sq ft facility at its Brixton Way factory, and has equipped it with lathes, milling centres, surface grinders, welding bays and teaching areas.

A 10-seat CAD training room was also unveiled in front of 70 members of the local business community.

It will be named The Dickie Homden Design Suite, in honour of the founder of Salop Design and Engineering.

“Shropshire is crying out for more dedicated industry-led provision in order to support its resurgent manufacturing base.

“We’re confident that our academy will start to address this skills gap,” said Gareth Jones, managing director of In-Comm Training & Business Services.

“Our relationship with Salop Design dates back more than 40 years, which in that time we have helped developed apprentices and worked together on promoting UK manufacturing to young people.”

He added: “We knew we wanted to establish a presence in Shropshire and the management at Salop said they would be happy to dedicate some space inside their factory to make it happen.

“Together, we have created a world class training facility that combines expert teaching, access to new machinery/design capabilities and the opportunity for apprentices to witness theory being applied on live manufacturing projects.”

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski officially opened the academy, and received a guided tour of the facility.

“It is always encouraging to hear that businesses themselves are looking at innovative ways of training the next generation,” said Mr Kawczynski.

“I have known about Salop Design & Engineering for many years, as it has been at the forefront of manufacturing in the UK and a key local employer for constituents.

“With the current revival of engineering and manufacturing, the firm has recognised the value of high quality training schemes which are instrumental in plugging the skills gap. I am truly confident that the academy will be a success.”

(pictured apprentice Connor Macey and In-Comm MD Gareth Jones).