A new £1.5m engineering centre of excellence which aims to meet Redditch's high demand for apprentices is set to open.
A major investment for the town, based in Arrow Road, it will increase the number of skilled engineering apprentices not only in Redditch but the county.
Set to open in the autumn the centre will train up to 200 young apprentice engineers over the next four years.
It will be run by specialist training provider Midland Group Training Services (MGTS) and provide a dedicated local facility to ensure young people within the area can be trained to provide the engineering skills that local companies desperately require.
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.
“We need an engineering academy and skills centre in Redditch, to offer opportunities to young people, to learn a skill – and not least our own younger residents who we want to be able to stay in their locality.”
Redditch MP Karen Lumley said: “This is great news for Redditch. We have needed this engineering apprenticeships facility in Redditch for some time to provide the skills employers want, and this is just what I have been pushing for.
“I am delighted to see the training provider working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships for Worcestershire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull to help provide it.”
The one of kind centre has been made possible thanks to a private and public sector collaboration with 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.
Lee Weatherly of 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.”
This article first appeared in the Redditch Advertiser on the 11th May 2016