The Training of the Shrew – Shropshire training academy to deliver engineering future

The Training of the Shrew

A new training academy aimed at launching the careers of engineering and manufacturing apprentices is being established in Shropshire.

In-Comm has formed a partnership with Shrewsbury based Salop Design & Engineering to establish a training academy in Shropshire aimed at launching the careers of engineering and manufacturing apprentices.

Salop are converting part of their factory into a training centre that will cater for around 40 apprentices a year for local manufacturing businesses. It comes as part of a long run of investments in the Shropshire business, which has now spent more than £2 million on its plant in Brixton Way in the last three years.

The initiative will allow manufacturers to address the skills shortage and succession planning requirements as they seek to support other major investments in the county.

In-Comm’s new Managing Director Gareth Jones said: “There is continued investment particularly from aerospace and automotive manufacturers in the region and whilst this is good news, there is a danger that it will have an impact on the supply chain if we can’t offer the skills locally to support an innovative and sustainable industrial future.”

Salop Design Director Chris Greenough added that the new centre will help meet a skills gap for engineers and manufacturers: “As the Chairman of Made In The Midlands I speak to a lot of manufacturing groups, and everybody is saying the skills gap is what is stopping their business from growing. We’re looking to buck the trend.”

In-Comm will employ three or four trainers at the site once it is ready for launch in August. Apprentices from companies in the local area will spend three days a week in work, and two studying with on-the-job facilities at Salop Design. They already employs three apprentices, and has committed to employing two more as part of the academy.

Both companies are investing their futures. In-Comm are currently finishing an expansion of their site that will increase capacity for learners and their access to their industry standard equipment.

Salop Design has invested in new powder coating lines, roof-mounted solar panels, reconfiguration of machinery and new the installation of the training academy to allow them to diversify and grow. After generating turnover of around £7 million last year, they expect to break through the £10 million barrier for the current period as it continues to strengthen.

Gareth concluded: “This collaboration will create a skilled workforce in the county and truly extols the virtues of partnership working. We have strong links with Salop Design and at the moment they are sending their apprentices on a one hundred mile round trip as they couldn’t access the training and support they needed in Shropshire. We can’t wait to get started.”