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MCMT delivers heritage skills boost

Posted on 08 Jul 2019 and read 1217 times
MCMT delivers heritage skills boostA new course is being launched to help prevent traditional automotive craft skills being lost forever.

The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT), which operates two ‘state of the art’ training centres (in Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury), will initially be offering 15 people the opportunity to undertake a Heritage Engineering Technician apprenticeship.

The three-year course will equip them with a range of skills to be used in the restoration of classic cars plus vintage racing cars and commercial vehicles — and they will get the chance to help rebuild a classic car from scratch.

The skills learnt will range from the correct use of materials, tools and equipment to hand seaming, joining materials and learning how to find solutions without having any drawings available.

Seven people have already signed up to take part in the course, and four companies (including Classic Motor Cars and Valley Motorsport) will support it by offering full-time positions.

Ian Warrilow, MCMT course tutor and a specialist in heritage engineering at Classic Motor Cars, said: “It is anticipated that we need 1,000 heritage engineering apprentices to offset the number of specialists that are retiring — before we lose these valuable skills forever.

“The sector is an unsung hero of manufacturing and accounts for £5 billion of UK GDP, whether it is in classic-car restoration or making sure that vintage racing vehicles are kept in prime condition.

“Our course at MCMT is ideal for young people or mature learners looking to train in an exciting career that could see them work on some of the world’s most famous cars.

“We are currently looking for eight more individuals to fill the cohort and also for firms involved in vehicle heritage to come forward and back what we are trying to do, so we can ensure that every participant has a job before they start.”