Manufacturers urged to take ‘Skills Pledge’ to protect pipeline of apprentices

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One of the UK’s leading training providers has launched a new campaign to ensure apprenticeships are protected as manufacturers seek to find ways of coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.

In-Comm Training, which operates three academies at Aldridge, Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury, is asking firms in the West Midlands to sign-up to its ‘Skills Pledge’, which will see them commit to supporting apprentices, raising the profile of vocational learning and ‘upskilling’ their workforces.

‘Powering the Engine’ will last for over a year and will ensure industry does not sacrifice the investment and time it has channelled into developing the talent they are going to desperately need to help reignite the economy now that lockdown is starting to ease.

Seventeen companies have already taken one of the pledges, including Brandauer, CHH Conex, Glassworks Hounsell, Gotronic, Holbourne Industrial Plastics, Kiyokuni Europe, MET Recruitment, PP Control & Automation and Valen Fittings.

The three pledges for the ‘Powering the Engine’ campaign include:

  • Apprenticeship Ambassadors - the company and an apprentice will give up one hour of their time to participate in promoting the benefits of apprenticeships
  • Skills Support for the Workforce - a commitment to put some of its staff through upskilling courses over the next 12 months
  • Apprenticeship Recruitment – to recruit one or more apprentices every year

Companies taking part will receive a specific incentive depending on the pledge they take and these range from a free skills audit and report, to free Learning Mentor courses and 5% off the cost of upskilling courses (when they cost over £500).

For every firm that signs up, In-Comm has also committed to manufacturing five visors for the NHS or local care homes.

Bekki Phillips, Managing Director of In-Comm Training, explained: “There has been too much progress made in bridging the skills gap for us to just sit back and watch this happen, so we’ve decided to do something about it by launching the In-Comm Training Skills Pledge.

“Companies can sign-up for one, two or all three of the options and in return we offer a range of tangible incentives and our own commitment to lobby Government on their behalf, so that we can secure as much assistance as possible to support skills development in these difficult times.”

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