“WE want doers, not thinkers, young people who know about the world and who have the skills to power modern industry.”
That was the verdict of Andrew Churchill of precision engineers JJ Churchill Ltd, speaking after Redditch MP Rachel Maclean had officially opened MGTS’s brand new apprentice training facility for the food industry at their Arrow Road North centre in Redditch.
It’s the latest venture by MGTS – Midland Group Training Services – a company already well established in Redditch that specialises in engineering training.
“I would say that apart from myself and one or two others all our top team have come through the apprenticeship route – it’s where the really high value jobs are coming from these days,” added Mr Churchill.
The venture into food industry training has been driven by demand said MGTS chief executive David Bridgens.
“Food and drink is the largest engineering sector in the UK, dwarfing both aerospace and automotive.
“The demand of the industry, the level of skill required, the attention to detail and delivery of tolerance levels make this sector very attractive.
“We are building the engineers of the future – they will have four years of training while earning and be getting skills that will stay with them for 40 years in the industry.
And it’s already landed a major success, sealing a contract with UK supermarket giant Morrisons to train all their food engineer apprentices, creating a ‘Morrisons Academy’.
It came about after Morrisons moved from having 18 separate engineer training centres to consolidating their offer into one – MGTS in Redditch – with a pledge to put 20 apprentices a year through the facility with plans to ‘upskill’ a further 400 of the company’s engineers.
“We are very much in a partnering relationship,” said James Cubbins who heads the sector at Morrisons.
“It’s in the DNA of MGTS to create great engineers. It helps that they are not for profit, that they are not just putting people through the mill and getting paid for it, they give their time to develop training and mentoring.”
Redditch MP Rachel Maclean said: “It’s very exciting because what they have achieved here is so important for Redditch and local young people.
“We have a real shortage of engineering skills in this country and the availability of quality training and work right here is so important to this town and our future.”