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Brandauer wins SME Employer Skills Champion title

Posted on 20 Jun 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 499 times.
Brandauer wins SME Employer Skills Champion titleBrandauer’s Adam Durose and Stuart Berry collect the Skills Champion Award

The UK’s first Precision Tooling Academy has been recognised by a national charity dedicated to closing skills gaps in UK engineering and manufacturing. Metal pressings and tooling specialist Brandauer was named as the SME Employer Skills Champion of the Year by Enginuity for the way it has joined forces with In-Comm Training to bring the technical upskilling facility in the West Midlands to fruition.

The judges were impressed by the Birmingham company’s role in addressing a critical shortage of toolmakers by creating a specialist 20-week course that ensures the transfer of essential skills from an aging 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, upskilling opportunities for qualified engineers looking to diversify their skills and a Level 6 Tool Process Design Apprenticeship to develop the next generation of talent.

Lifelong challenge

Rowan Crozier, CEO 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 across the UK’s 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 the way it has reshaped its apprenticeship programme to ensure 15% of the workforce are apprentices, as well as its involvement in the Manufacturing Assembly Network’s Design & Make Challenge competition.