3 February 2015

Mayor of Walsall opens new Traineeships for Industry centre

Left to right: Trainee Stuart Parrish, Stephen Crawley (Skills Director, Skills Training UK), The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Pete Smith and Trainee Damian Williams

The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Pete Smith, has officially opened a new training centre in Walsall where Skills Training UK, a leading provider of training and apprenticeships, has launched Traineeships for Industry for 19-24 year-olds looking for careers in manufacturing, engineering, warehousing and logistics.

At the opening event on Tuesday 29th July he met the first group of trainees at the centre in Bridge Street, Walsall, as well as representatives from local companies who are interested in taking on the young people, including Gerrymet and Thermotec Plastics.

The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Pete Smith, said: “I congratulate the trainees who have joined this course, some of whom are from the area I grew up in Walsall and it wasn’t easy. The escape route for me was education and training and I firmly believe that getting the right skills for modern day industry is arguably more important than academic qualifications. It turns empty minds into open minds with more choices, experiences and the ability to think forward.”

Stephen Crawley, Skills Training UK’s Director of Skills, said: “We’ve developed Traineeships for Industry because with the car industry growth there’s a real appetite for engineering, warehousing and manufacturing companies to recruit young people. We’ve had a fantastic response from local companies and over thirty work placement opportunities have already been offered.”

The Traineeship for Industry is providing 10 weeks of classroom based training for trainees to learn about the industrial workplace environment and improve English and Maths skills before undertaking a six week work placement with a local employer. It includes gaining an accredited forklift licence, the BTEC Work Skills Award and Industrial Environmental Awareness Award.

Tim Willis from local business Gerrymet, which manufactures saw blades and tooling, said: “Skills Training UK is really listening to what we want. I’m looking to employ someone and the Traineeship will let me see the trainee work, see how keen they are. The most important thing is reliability and that’s what Skills Training UK is drilling into the trainees.”

David Rose from Thermotec Plastics which manufactures products for the Luxury Automotive market, said: “Skills Training UK are effectively giving the trainee the skills to embark on a six week opportunity to experience working at Thermotec. This gives the trainee the chance to show us if they have what it takes to be part of our Team.”

Stuart Parrish, age 23, who is amongst the first twenty trainees to start the course, said: “The trainers have made the classroom teaching really interesting and I’m learning a lot. My Maths has really improved and I’ve got a high specification CV written.”

Damian Williams, aged 20, from Walsall, who was recommended by the local Jobcentre Plus, said: “I had difficult teenage years and was floating about but I’m now determined to get into work.”

Matthew Duckhouse, age 24, from Willenhall, said: “I was applying for a lot of jobs but not getting anywhere. This course has already helped me a lot and is going to look good on my CV. It’s going to boost my chances of getting employment.”

Any employers interested in trialling a trainee through the Traineeship for Industry, or 19-24 year-olds looking to begin the course, should telephone Skills Training UK on 01922 703072 or 07792 787199 or email walsalltraineeships@skillstraininguk.com.

Skills Training UK’s Walsall training centre is at Tameway Tower (4th Floor), 48 Bridge Street, Walsall WS1 1JZ. See www.skillstraininguk.com.

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