July’s issue of Engineering Capacity magazine features the new National Foundry Training Centre. The centre, based in the Midlands but for the whole of the UK industry, has been built to enable practical training for apprentices and to upskill those already in the casting sector, and is the only dedicated foundry training facility in the UK.
The article, written by CMF’s CEO, Dr Pam Murrell FICME, which can be seen on pages 18 and 19, explores the challenges that industries with specialist skills needs face when trying to establish apprenticeship training programmes and training facilities. Colleges are not readily able to support, as they do not have the appropriate equipment, nor the tutors with relevant industry experience. They are also not able to justify the large investment required to write apprenticeship standards with employers, and develop the teaching and learning resources needed for what will, inevitably, be small, geographically spread, cohorts.
In the case of the castings sector the industry was able to benefit from the lead taken by the Black Country LEP who recognised the skills needs of the metals sector businesses in the region and were able to access the RGF funding required for the new Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills of which the Foundry Training Centre is just one part. And this is where the industry’s leading bodies came in – the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers, ICME becoming an End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for the apprenticeship standard, and the sector’s Trade Body, the Cast Metals Federation, plus FE and HE partners (Dudley College and the University of Wolverhampton respectively) – who worked in partnership with the LEP to support the building of the training centre.
Through the very real and tangible support of these principle membership bodies, the industry now has an apprenticeship standard that employers can use, supported by levy funding, and a dedicated and fully-equipped training centre.
For the full article please use the following link: https://bit.ly/EngCapJuly2020