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'Outstanding' rating for training provider

A Shropshire private training provider has been given a resounding seal of approval by Ofsted following its latest inspection.

In-Comm Training, which operates academies in Shrewsbury and Aldridge, has been rated ‘Outstanding’ across all areas of the business, becoming the only organisation in the county to achieve this level. 

The Grade One verdict recognises that apprentices achieve ‘outstanding’ qualifications that help prepare them for promotion and their future career, that leaners achieve high levels of Maths, English and IT and most budding engineers secure high grades in their technical training. 

Inspectors were also impressed with the rigorous governance arrangements in place and the quality and experience of the trainers, who support learners in their rapid progression. 

“To secure ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected with the business…our management team, our trainers, our partners and, importantly, the 400+ apprentices and learners we support every year,” explained Gareth Jones, joint managing director at In-Comm Training. 

“Over the last three years, we have worked tirelessly to raise the profile of vocational learning, in order to meet the acknowledged skills gap and have put in place a number of ambitious plans to make sure we are seen as an ‘outstanding provider’. 

“This includes employing the best staff and investing more than £1m in the latest workshop equipment, including new CNC capabilities, millers, lathes, welding bays, a fluid power section and CAD suite. Ofsted’s ‘Outstanding’ rating reinforces that what we are doing is working.” 

In-Comm, which received a ‘Good’ inspection in 2015, has also been praised for the work it is doing with industry to help it bridge the skills gap and to ensure companies are achieving their strategic aims by having access to skilled people. 

Inspectors cited that employers play a significant role in planning and delivering high-quality apprenticeship programmes and that leaders and managers are highly responsive in meeting the skills needs of the region. 

Bekki Phillips, joint managing director (pictured with Gareth Jones), continued: “We spent a lot of time working with firms in our area and they all told us that they would invest more in training if it gave them future employees ready for work.  

“Our Improvement Planning from the previous Ofsted inspection was key to achieving this and focused on learners developing their skills rapidly to ensure they were ready to undertake the significant responsibility required by employers.” 

She went on to add: “Once we had this approach finalised, we threw down the gauntlet to a number of key partners and the first success came when Salop Design & Engineering agreed to join forces with us on ITAS, a new academy supporting 40 learners in Shrewsbury. 

“More recently, we have played a key role in shaping the £3m Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) in Bridgnorth, alongside Salop, Classic Motor Cars and Grainger & Worrall. This venture will create ‘2020 learning opportunities between now and 2020’. 

“That’s not all. We’re also about to launch a series of nationwide advanced technical academies in partnership with a leading CNC machine supplier.” 

In-Comm has been offering industry and commerce a wide range of training and business solutions for 35 years.  

The firm has a proven track record as a specialist engineering training academy, developing engineering apprentices skilled for the needs of the employer base through its range of specialist packages. 

Other areas of training and development cover topics, such as management development, health and safety, quality assurance, business improvement techniques, lean manufacturing, business support and specialist skills courses. 

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