From education to employment

In-Comm launches £3m Technical Academy in the home of the industrial revolution

A new £3m technical academy, located just a few miles away from the home of the industrial revolution, has been officially opened to the public.

In-Comm Training, which already operates two highly successful facilities in the Black Country and Shrewsbury, is looking to train more than 350 apprentices and upskill 2500 existing workers at its T54 centre over the next twelve months and opened its doors last Friday.

The ‘Ofsted Outstanding’ provider has created 20,000 sq ft of manufacturing training space, fitting it out with new equipment and state-of-the-art technology, spanning from the latest CNC machines, robotics, fluid power and material testing to welding, electrical, lathes, millers, CAD/CAM and metrology equipment.

A team of 20 expert trainers – all with considerable experience in industry – will be on hand to guide the engineers of the future and to deliver best practice courses that will help local companies futureproof employees for years to come.

“We’ve been operating in Shropshire since 2015 and all of our clients have been saying to us that Telford, regarded as the industrial epicentre of the north Marches, has been crying out for a dedicated manufacturing training centre for years,” explained Gareth Jones, Managing Director for In-Comm Training.

“Our approach, being very much employer-led, meant we had to act on this, so we decided to make a £3million investment into taking on the building on T54 and creating a truly world class technical academy for the thousands of manufacturers operating in the town and county.”

He continued: “Telford is just a few minutes away from where the first industrial revolution started and industry is going through the next one, with digital transformation firmly on the agenda and a move to more sustainable production high on the list of priorities.

“Companies must act to make sure they have the skills in place to support this transition and this Technical Academy will play an important role in generating the talent of the future.

“Our manufacturers have a major role to play in this and we are using the opening as a rallying call to get more strategic partners involved in how we deliver training in the area.”

In-Comm Training (Telford) marked its official launch with an Open Day on January 26th, where senior delegates, including Selina Graham (the High Sheriff of Shropshire), Claire Critchell (Telford and Wrekin Council) and Kathryn Jones (Marches LEP) were given the opportunity to meet learners, trainers and the management team, not to mention touring the expansive facility.

They heard how the centre will be home to the Marches spoke of the Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology, which is pioneering a new approach to delivering today’s higher technical education for tomorrow’s careers.

The aim is to create a vibrant learning environment that leverages the capabilities of academia, employers, and higher education – all geared towards providing high quality training opportunities with clear pathways to skilled jobs in automotive, advanced engineering, aerospace, construction, medical and renewables for example.

There will also be a strong focus on delivering upskilling and managed services from Telford, as well as expert consultancy on safety and quality compliance, leadership and management and continuous improvement.

In-Comm Training’s HNC offer will be expanded, with new engineering and manufacturing Level 4 courses available through apprenticeships or upskilling opportunities.

Bekki Phillips, Chief Operating Officer at In-Comm Training, added her support: “One of the other differences that separates us from other training providers, is our ability to leverage the expertise and capabilities of an army of technical partners.

“This includes the CNC machining technology of the Engineering Technology Group (ETG), the automation knowledge of Telford-based Bauromat, precision toolmaking of Brandauer, clean air experts Filtermist, energy specialists Schneider Electric and the metrology, measuring and CAD insight of Hexagon and The Torus Group.”

She concluded: “There’s no escaping the tough economic climate, but, at the same time, local manufacturers have some great opportunities through reshoring and leading the electrification race. Protecting the skills of today and future developing the skills required for tomorrow will be key in turning the potential into reality.

“A strong UK economy needs a buoyant manufacturing sector, and we’ll only achieve this by growing engineering and industrial skills. If we achieve this, our innovative companies will no longer have to worry about gaining access to the talent they need to lead the world.”

James Morgan, In-Comm Training’s Apprentice of the Year, officially opened the Telford Technical Academy.

For further information, please visit or follow @incomm_training

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