A MAJOR investment in Redditch will see a new specialist engineering training facility open in the autumn to train up to 200 young apprentice engineers over the next four years.
The new Engineering Centre of Excellence in Arrow Road, Redditch, will be run by specialist training provider, Midland Group Training Services (MGTS) and will provide a dedicated local facility to ensure that young people within the area can be trained to provide the engineering skills that local companies require.
The new £1.5 million facility has been made possible thanks to a private and public sector collaboration with Midland Group Training Services (MGTS) investing £800,000 and both Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP) and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnerships (GBSLEP) investing £350,000 each through the Government’s Growth Deals.
The North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration (NWedR) team worked with partners on behalf of Redditch Borough Council.
The new facility was prioritised for funding as it meets the ambition outlined in Worcestershire’s 10-Year Strategic Economic Plan which was formed with all partners including local businesses, councils, trade bodies and the voluntary sector to ensure the long term prosperity of the County. It also helps to meet GBSLEP priorities for employment and skills outlined in its North Worcestershire Employment and Skills Plan.
Currently 10,000 people participate in an apprenticeship programme across Worcestershire, with excellence celebrated at the Annual Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards, and this new centre will increase the number of skilled engineering apprentices in the County.
Lee Weatherly of Midland Group Training Services (MGTS), said: “We are passionate about apprenticeships and delivering training that is completely relevant to the world of work. We work very closely with companies to make sure our apprentices have the skills and the right attitudes that employers require. We know that there is a high level of demand from our local commercial and industrial clients which includes the need for more and higher level apprentices.”
Council Leader of Redditch Borough Council, Councillor Bill Hartnett, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this project will become a reality in Redditch which is the manufacturing heart of the county.
“Supporting and encouraging apprenticeships has been one of my personal priorities and as a Council we are committed to providing opportunities for the workforce of the future. This latest project dovetails into our other scheme which offers post graduate placements from Birmingham University into Redditch companies.”
Gary Woodman, executive director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The creation of a skills academy is great for Redditch and the rest of the County as it will provide local people with a clear career path as well as provide the essential skills required for businesses in the area.
“The Engineering Centre of Excellence will make a huge difference to skills in the region and I am sure Midland Group Training Services will make this an absolute success.”
Katie Trout, director of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We know there is the appetite for an engineering academy in Redditch which will help the region meet the need for engineering professionals. This project demonstrates what can be achieved when LEPs work together with the private sector to meet the needs of the local economy.”