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Apprenticeship places available at hub

Sixty eight apprenticeship places are up for grabs later this month when Shropshire’s newest training hub holds a major summer event.

Young people, parents and businesses are being encouraged to attend the ‘showcase’, which will mark 60 days before the official opening of the £3m Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT), a state-of-the-art hub that will support ‘2020 learners by 2020’.

Led by employers Grainger & Worrall, Classic Motor Cars, Salop Design & Engineering and training specialist In-Comm, the centre will provide the county with access to over 65,000 sq ft of engineering and manufacturing space and will be equipped with technology that will ensure apprentices are industry-ready when they leave.

The event, due to be held this Friday between 1pm-6pm, will give visitors an exclusive opportunity to gain a ‘sneak-peak’ at the development of the MCMT, a virtual tour of the different technology zones and a chance to meet key members of the team.

There will also be the chance for young people to sign-up to be part of the first cohort of apprentices available in courses ranging from maintenance engineering, business improvement and welding, to automotive, electrical, engineering design and mechanical engineering.

“We are continually told there is a skills shortage in the region and this is holding companies back…well now is the time to stop talking about it and actually embrace a bold and ambitious vision to bridge that gap,” explained Matthew Snelson, managing director of MCMT.

“The Summer Event will see us throw open our doors so people can see how construction and the fit-out is going and we should be able to unveil the striking frontage of the training school.”

He continued: “Our trainers will also be on hand to go through the details of the courses, what is involved, the new technology you will be learning on and how this can lead to career progression and even a degree – the latter without the debt that conventionally goes with it.

“A lot of employers are already backing the MCMT and a large number of apprenticeship places currently available will be linked to companies so you have ready-made jobs.”

The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology has received £1.9m of Government Growth Deal funding via the Marches LEP to bring the concept into reality, with £1.1m of private funding already pledged.

It will provide a high-tech environment for individuals to learn from engineering experts on the latest technology – all geared towards giving them opportunities to apply their new found skills on real life manufacturing situations.

Located on The Stanmore Industrial Estate in Bridgnorth, the MCMT will house dedicated fabrication, foundry, lathe, metrology, milling, robotics and vehicle trimming sections, as well as a specialist CNC Zone and spray booth/mixing capabilities.

There will also be an auditorium lecture theatre, bespoke learning environments, five vehicle ramps and a rolling road test facility.

Matthew concluded: “We are just finalising the technology that will be installed and ready for action when we launch in September. It’s an exciting list so far and will be far more advanced than anything current available in the county.

“For instance, there will be 30 manual lathes and milling centres, a Laser Roamer arm for metrology, Hardinge Bridgeport CNC Centres, Halter Automation Robotics Line and testing machines. This is just a snapshot; the full capability will be announced shortly.”

Picture: l-r Matthew Snelson (MCMT), Christopher Greenough (Salop Design & Engineering), Graham Wynn OBE (Marches LEP), Peter Neumark (Classic Motor Cars), Bekki Phillips and Gareth Jones (both In-Comm Training)

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