Giving people the skills they need

Learning: Jordan Hadwin, left, and Declan Nolan in the bench fitting room at Brinsworth Training
Learning: Jordan Hadwin, left, and Declan Nolan in the bench fitting room at Brinsworth Training
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Mention engineering and training and the immediate response is apprenticeships.

As far as Brinsworth Training is concerned, however, the story can start at school and go well beyond a craft apprenticeship.

Training: Dave Ellis shows Jonathan Todd, left, and Joel Spittlehouse how to operate the milling machine simulator

Training: Dave Ellis shows Jonathan Todd, left, and Joel Spittlehouse how to operate the milling machine simulator

At one end of the scale, Brinsworth has worked with schools, Business & Education South Yorkshire, the Industrial Trust and the Prince’s Trust to help young people gain an appreciation of engineering and enable those who lack the grades needed for an apprenticeship or have personal problems to build up their foundation skills.

At the other end of the scale, the company has helped redundant adults to retrain, reskill and return to work.

In between there are the apprentices – both employed and unemployed – initiatives to help existing employees to increase their skills and become more versatile and management training programmes.

Brinsworth has seen major growth in the number of engineering apprentices it trains in recent years.

Part of that success is down to its willingness to help employers with recruitment and by tailoring training programmes to their specific needs.

Around 14 per cent of the apprentices at its Sheffield Road centre currently don’t have jobs and the company recently matched its pre-recession success rate of placing eight out of every 10 of them in full time employment by the time the course is over.

“What employers liked – and what we liked – was that the young people were here, with us, for 14 weeks. Their attendance record, attitude, aptitude and skills levels were measured every week and an employer could look at their standard of work, over and above interviewing them,” says managing director Mick Crossley.

The scheme, which pays youngsters a wage while they train, is being axed by the Government. Brinsworth would like to continue the programme and pay the youngsters out of its profits – but that would require some regulation changes if the company is to avoid being treated by the Government as though it was the jobless youngsters’ employer.

Demand for commercial training has increased significantly too and is currently eight times greater than it was a couple of years ago.

“We have always been seen as an apprentice training provider and our core business is training to NVQ Level 3 and Level 3, but we can deliver to Level 5,” says Mick Crossley.