Sandwell College launches new engineering apprenticeships

A NEW engineering apprenticeship scheme is being launched by Sandwell College in a bid to combat a regional skills shortage.

Business advisers from the college’s external development unit are already starting to set up placements with local firms to train the engineers and manufacturers of the future.

And the college is appealing for more new employers to come on board to build up successful apprenticeship schemes, with starts throughout the year.

Following recent reports of a lack of expertise in the engineering sector and a massive skills shortage, college bosses are keen to work in partnership with employers to plug the gap.

Ofsted has praised the department for setting up apprenticeships in the dental, pharmacy and radiology sectors which respond effectively to employers’ specialist requirements.

James Norris, director of employer services and marketing, said: “Employers are suffering from a shortage of skilled workers, and this is where we can step in to help provide a solution.

“We have a proven record of success in working with our partners, particularly in helping to meet their workforce development needs. I would encourage firms to get in touch with us to discuss their requirements.”

Apprentices will study Engineering BTEC qualifications, which cover the key knowledge and practical skills required in the industry.

The qualifications are flexible, offering optional units such as mathematics, computer aided drawing, operating fluid power systems, sheet metal work, constructing electronic circuits and production planning, as well as marking out and machinery techniques.

Developed in the maintenance, manufacturing, electronic and general engineering sectors, the qualifications are also suitable for adults wishing to change career or move into a particular area following a career break.

Employers who would like to discuss taking on engineering apprentices are urged to call 0121 253 6911.