Wolverhampton-based training and apprenticeships provider The Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) is leading the way in the Midlands with much-needed courses in the cast metal and metal forming sectors at facilities unique to this country.
The ECMS is an employer-led and skills-focused specialist apprenticeship and training provider to the cast metal and metal forming sectors and is supporting the development of apprenticeships and technical upskilling of existing staff across the Black Country at its centres in Wolverhampton, Tipton and Aldridge.
The ECMS has just celebrated its first anniversary of opening, having spent several years in development, including liaising with employers in the region to find out what their training needs were.
As a result of this focus on addressing skills gaps, the ECMS has established the National Foundry Training Centre in Tipton, which has the only fully-functioning industrial training foundry and industrial pattern-making shop in the UK. The centre also has a sand laboratory, metallurgy and metrology equipment, as well as teaching rooms equipped with the specialist IT software used within the foundry sector.
The ECMS also runs the National Tool Centre in Aldridge, which has a state-of-the-art press facility with tool making equipment and engineering machinery for training and supporting people in the tool making and metal forming industries with the latest skills requirements.
Ian Fitzpatrick, chief executive of the ECMS, said that since opening the take-up of courses has been high, with 50 apprentices in the first cohort and another 80 set to start in September across the key industrial sectors. “We have also run a number of successful courses for upskilling individuals from specialist training on equipment to leadership management training,” he added.
“The focus was on supporting local industry with skills, so we work closely with all those sectors through the professional institutes for those industries. They are struggling to get new entrants into the industry, there is an ageing workforce and we need to drive as many new entrants into those industries as possible.”
The ECMS is exhibiting at the Made in the Midlands Expo again this year; Ian Fitzpatrick said they will be promoting the skills and training opportunities on offer.