In-Comm Training has launched Powering the Engine, a campaign to protect apprenticeships as manufacturers seek to find ways of coping with Covid-19.
The training provider operates three academies at Aldridge, Bridgnorth and Shropshire and is asking firms in the West Midlands to sign-up to its Skills Pledge, which will see them commit to supporting apprentices, raising the profile of vocational learning and ‘upskilling’ their workforces.
‘Powering the Engine’ has been designed to ensure that industry does not sacrifice its investment into developing the talent they will to need to help reignite the economy now that lockdown is easing.
Eight companies have already taken one of the pledges, including Brandauer, CHH Conex, Glassworks Hounsell, Gotronic, Holbourne Industrial Plastics, Kiyokuni Europe, MET Recruitment and Valen Fittings.
In a statement Bekki Phillips, Managing Director of In-Comm Training, said: “The impact of Covid-19 has turned the economy upside down and many firms are trying to work out how they navigate their way through the crisis, making a lot of tough decisions in the process.
“We had noticed that a few firms were starting to let their apprentices go due to cost-cutting and wanted to address this before it becomes a major issue for young people and for an economy that is staring at a major talent drain.
“There has been too much progress made in bridging the skills gap for us to just sit back and watch this happen, so we’ve decided to do something about it by launching the In-Comm Training Skills Pledge.”
The three pledges for the ‘Powering the Engine’ campaign include: Apprenticeship Ambassadors, where the company and an apprentice spare an hour of their time to participate in promoting the benefits of apprenticeships; Skills Support for the Workforce, which is a commitment to put some of its staff through upskilling courses over the next 12 months; and Apprenticeship Recruitment of one or more apprentices every year.
Phillips said companies can sign-up for one, two or all three of the options in return for incentives including a free skills audit and report, free Learning Mentor courses, and five per cent off the cost of upskilling courses that cost over £500.
“We want to get people talking about skills and highlighting the huge benefits apprentices can bring to the bottom line of a business, regardless of which sectors they operate in,” said Phillips. “This could be through social media campaigns, taking part in virtual networking, writing thought leadership articles or contributing video case studies. Let’s keep training on the agenda so we continue to have new talent coming through the ranks.”