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Precision Tooling Academy helps Brandauer win skills champion title

The UK’s first Precision Tooling Academy has been recognised by a national charity dedicated to closing skills gaps in UK engineering and manufacturing.

Brandauer’s Adam Durose and Stuart Berry (middle) collect the Skills Champion Award

Metal pressings and tooling specialist Brandauer was named as the small and medium-sized employer skills champion of the year by Enginuity for the way it has joined forces with Aldridge-based In-Comm Training to bring the technical upskilling facility to fruition.

Judges were impressed by the Birmingham company’s role in addressing a critical shortage of toolmakers by creating a specialist 20-week course to transfer of essential skills from an ageing workforce to a younger generation.

Close to £1 million has been jointly invested by the two strategic partners to create a commercial toolroom in the training provider’s facility in Aldridge, which is producing complex tooling, as well as acting as a professional training ground for the toolmakers and designers of the future.

The Precision Tooling Academy aims to reverse this trend by offering companies access to professional toolmaking courses, training opportunities for qualified engineers looking to diversify their skills and a Level 6 Tool Process Design Apprenticeship to develop the next generation of talent.

Rowan Crozier, Brandauer chief executive of Brandauer, said: “Promoting engineering skills is a lifelong challenge that we must approach on numerous levels. Being recognised for that is great, but we invest in skills development because it is part of the DNA of our business. This is reflected in the Precision Tooling Academy. The lack of toolmakers was holding our own growth back, but we knew this was a wider issue and wanted to make sure that what we created with In-Comm Training could be used by everyone – even our competitors.

“15 months on and we’ve had JLR engineers complete the 20-week course and are currently filling the next cohort, who come from other companies in the supply chain. It really is a fantastic blueprint for how industry and a training provider can work together to deliver a skills solution.”

Leaders from the engineering and manufacturing sector gathered at the 10th annual Enginuity Skills Awards in June to celebrate the brightest and best in UK engineering and manufacturing talent and the organisations championing skills development.

The ceremony was attended by West Midlands Deputy Lieutenant Professor Sir Nigel Thrift and hosted by Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and award-winning broadcaster Steph McGovern at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

Brandauer, which was joined on stage by KMF Precision Sheet Metal, JLR and Siemens Digital Industries, was also recognised by judges for reshaping its apprenticeship programme to ensure 15 per cent of the workforce are apprentices and its involvement in the Manufacturing Assembly Network’s Design & Make Challenge.

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