Birmingham manufacturer lands major training award

Praise for apprenticeships offered by company.

A leading Birmingham manufacturer has claimed one of the main prizes at the In-Comm Training Awards held recently.

Brandauer, which produces pressings and stampings for a global customer base, beat off the challenge of twenty other firms to be named Employer of the Year.

The company impressed judges with the way it has made apprenticeships more than 15% of its total workforce, helping it retain specialist skills and reduce the average age of staff to just 44 in the process.

Bekki Phillips, joint Managing Director at In-Comm Training, commented: “There has been a lot of media debate about the effectiveness of the ‘Apprenticeship Levy’, but one thing that is not in question is the important role we all play in developing the engineers of the future.

“Apprenticeships offer a fantastic way for companies to develop their own staff and for young people to become competent craft and technical engineers by being exposed to all levels of education and a host of practical scenarios. If they go all the way to Degree level through this route, they’ll also save £100,000 on average when compared to people going to University.

“The In-Comm Training Awards are designed to showcase the best vocational learners in the Midlands, highlighting individuals who have gone above and beyond, mentors that have given blood, sweat and tears in developing their younger members of staff and employers who have put their money where their mouths are.”

She continued: “I’m delighted that Brandauer won Employer of the Year, a fantastic example of how manufacturers can fully embrace apprentices.”

Other winners at the In-Comm Awards 2018 included:

• Learner of the Year – Business Support: Jack Shakespeare (Ames Group)

• Learner of the Year – Supervisory Management: Marc Edwards (Walsall Pressings)

• Learner of the Year – Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies: Maria Collins (IMI Precision)

• Learner of the Year In-Comm Academies Engineering: Lauren Ball (Caterpillar Shrewsbury)

• Ambassador of the Year – Keith Collins (Castings Plc)

• Learner of the Year – Continuous Improvement: Lloyd Scarsbrook (CPE Pressure Vessels)

• Most Improved Learner – Laura Thacker (Integrated Water Services)

Headline sponsor for the event was the Engineering Technology Group, one of the UK’s leading machine tools suppliers. Chloe Reeve, Technical Co-ordinator and former apprentice, was one of the judges for this year’s competition.

“The quality of the entries was fantastic, with lots of stories of young people saving their companies money and solving production bottlenecks – even mentoring their peers who might be struggling on certain topics.”

She concluded: “The winners and the nominees are excellent ambassadors for recruiting the next apprentices and the engineers of the future.”

Over 350 people attended the In-Comm Training Awards, held for the first time at the ICC in Birmingham. Guests were given an insight into life behind the scenes of Robot Wars by Grant and James Cooper, before being entertained by Black Country royalty in the shape of Doreen Tipton.