In-Comm Training & Business Services

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by In-Comm Training & Business Services's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from In-Comm Training & Business Services is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.in-comm.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | IN-COMM TRAINING & BUSINESS SERVICES
Managing Director Bekki Phillips
Seven-hundred and fifty
learners have access to
experienced tutors to make
them industry-ready
Across the country, industries of all types face one
common question: how to address the current skills
gap. For In-Comm Training’s Managing Director, Bekki
Phillips, the only solution is an employer-led approach, one
designed to bring companies and training providers together to
tackle the issue. Bekki explains that she and her team have tried
to bring this spirit of collaboration into their own work and that
all of the courses they offer have been developed in partnership
with employers. She tells
The Parliamentary Review
that she and
her team have embraced emerging technologies and explains
the need for collective responsibility.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in the excellent 1990s film
Groundhog Day
when asked to
debate industry and the skills gap. It has been one of the most heated discussions for
manufacturers for more than a decade, yet thousands of conversations and promises
have yet to come up with a consistent solution that delivers what we allwant.
So, what do we all want? If you ask management teams at the coalface, they’ll
say a workforce that has the skills to help them grow and be competitive and
training courses and apprenticeships that ensure staff deliver a tangible benefit to
the bottom line. Training providers, on the whole, will agree with this, but they’d
also echo the need for government to provide more support for businesses to take
training seriously. An interesting melting pot of wants and desires.
Stripping away all the agendas, I see the million-pound answer quite simply as an
employer-led approach.
FACTS ABOUT
IN-COMM TRAINING & BUSINESS
SERVICES
»Managing Director:
RebeccaPhillips
»Established in 1982
»Based across three technical
academies in Aldridge,
West Midlands, Bridgnorth,
Shropshire and Shrewsbury,
Shropshire
»Services: Apprenticeships,
consultancy, technical
upskilling, R&D, advanced
technology and training
programmes, product
realisation, turnkey solutions,
operational excellence, process
improvement and waste
reduction, data collection and
analysis, automation
»No. of employees: 57
»Ofsted: “Outstanding”
In-Comm Training &
Business Services
31IN-COMM TRAINING & BUSINESS SERVICES |
EDUCATION SERVICES
Sounds simple? It can be. It needs
everyone pulling in the same direction
and signing up to giving their all to
finally bridge the skills gap. This means
training providers being prepared to
listen to companies about what they
want and how they want it delivered,
firms being prepared to invest money
and time in the bigger picture and
all political parties creating the right
environment for training tothrive.
Engaging the disengaged
I’m not saying In-Comm Training
has nailed it completely yet, but we
have adopted this approach and we
are seeing some very encouraging
results, with apprenticeship starts
up on last year and achievement
rates considerably higher than the
nationalaverage.
The launch of our two Marches Centre
of Manufacturing & Technology
academies in Bridgnorth and
Shrewsbury are great examples of
the difference we are making. We
have teamed up with Classic Motor
Cars, Grainger & Worrall and SDE
Technology to create two dedicated
learning spaces that are now delivering
over 150 trailblazer apprenticeship
opportunities for young people
inShropshire.
Every course, from mechatronics and
maintenance to welding, metrology
and heritage engineering, has
been developed in partnership with
employers while still meeting the
national standards. They get young
people that are fully trained, and the
engineers of the future get access
to £4 million of technology, the best
industry experts and a guaranteed job
at the end of it.
This is an approach we have taken
and applied to our headquarters in
Aldridge. Here we have engaged
with workholding experts Hyfore
to establish an academy equipped
with £3 million of CNC machinery,
fluid power control, metrology, wire
electrical discharge machining and a
new national press and tooling line.
We have also created partnerships where
we have purchased world-class industrial
equipment, then used engineers from
one of our 11 technical partners to
develop the training programme. IMI
Precision is a prime example, with its
state-of-the-art fluid power suite.
Each piece of equipment will be used
by our apprentices, and we are also
giving SMEs access to our capabilities
if they want to explore new processes,
develop prototypes or upskill their
staff. The key here is that many of
them will not have the money available
to invest in technology they may only
use now and again. We are helping to
remove this barrier to entry.
Meeting demand
The rapid evolution of industry is
another factor that the training sector
is having to come to terms with. A
lot of providers have failed to get to
grips with the change to the trailblazer
apprenticeship standards, therefore
holding back delivery of the new
qualifications and causing unnecessary
confusion within industry.
Over £3 million has
been invested in the
latest technology at
In-Comm’s Aldridge
Academy
We have
teamed up with
Classic Motor
Cars, Grainger
& Worrall and
SDE Technology
to create two
dedicated
learning
spaces
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | IN-COMM TRAINING & BUSINESS SERVICES
Managing Director Bekki Phillips
Seven-hundred and fifty
learners have access to
experienced tutors to make
them industry-ready
Across the country, industries of all types face one
common question: how to address the current skills
gap. For In-Comm Training’s Managing Director, Bekki
Phillips, the only solution is an employer-led approach, one
designed to bring companies and training providers together to
tackle the issue. Bekki explains that she and her team have tried
to bring this spirit of collaboration into their own work and that
all of the courses they offer have been developed in partnership
with employers. She tells
The Parliamentary Review
that she and
her team have embraced emerging technologies and explains
the need for collective responsibility.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in the excellent 1990s film
Groundhog Day
when asked to
debate industry and the skills gap. It has been one of the most heated discussions for
manufacturers for more than a decade, yet thousands of conversations and promises
have yet to come up with a consistent solution that delivers what we allwant.
So, what do we all want? If you ask management teams at the coalface, they’ll
say a workforce that has the skills to help them grow and be competitive and
training courses and apprenticeships that ensure staff deliver a tangible benefit to
the bottom line. Training providers, on the whole, will agree with this, but they’d
also echo the need for government to provide more support for businesses to take
training seriously. An interesting melting pot of wants and desires.
Stripping away all the agendas, I see the million-pound answer quite simply as an
employer-led approach.
FACTS ABOUT
IN-COMM TRAINING & BUSINESS
SERVICES
»Managing Director:
RebeccaPhillips
»Established in 1982
»Based across three technical
academies in Aldridge,
West Midlands, Bridgnorth,
Shropshire and Shrewsbury,
Shropshire
»Services: Apprenticeships,
consultancy, technical
upskilling, R&D, advanced
technology and training
programmes, product
realisation, turnkey solutions,
operational excellence, process
improvement and waste
reduction, data collection and
analysis, automation
»No. of employees: 57
»Ofsted: “Outstanding”
In-Comm Training &
Business Services
31IN-COMM TRAINING & BUSINESS SERVICES |
EDUCATION SERVICES
Sounds simple? It can be. It needs
everyone pulling in the same direction
and signing up to giving their all to
finally bridge the skills gap. This means
training providers being prepared to
listen to companies about what they
want and how they want it delivered,
firms being prepared to invest money
and time in the bigger picture and
all political parties creating the right
environment for training tothrive.
Engaging the disengaged
I’m not saying In-Comm Training
has nailed it completely yet, but we
have adopted this approach and we
are seeing some very encouraging
results, with apprenticeship starts
up on last year and achievement
rates considerably higher than the
nationalaverage.
The launch of our two Marches Centre
of Manufacturing & Technology
academies in Bridgnorth and
Shrewsbury are great examples of
the difference we are making. We
have teamed up with Classic Motor
Cars, Grainger & Worrall and SDE
Technology to create two dedicated
learning spaces that are now delivering
over 150 trailblazer apprenticeship
opportunities for young people
inShropshire.
Every course, from mechatronics and
maintenance to welding, metrology
and heritage engineering, has
been developed in partnership with
employers while still meeting the
national standards. They get young
people that are fully trained, and the
engineers of the future get access
to £4 million of technology, the best
industry experts and a guaranteed job
at the end of it.
This is an approach we have taken
and applied to our headquarters in
Aldridge. Here we have engaged
with workholding experts Hyfore
to establish an academy equipped
with £3 million of CNC machinery,
fluid power control, metrology, wire
electrical discharge machining and a
new national press and tooling line.
We have also created partnerships where
we have purchased world-class industrial
equipment, then used engineers from
one of our 11 technical partners to
develop the training programme. IMI
Precision is a prime example, with its
state-of-the-art fluid power suite.
Each piece of equipment will be used
by our apprentices, and we are also
giving SMEs access to our capabilities
if they want to explore new processes,
develop prototypes or upskill their
staff. The key here is that many of
them will not have the money available
to invest in technology they may only
use now and again. We are helping to
remove this barrier to entry.
Meeting demand
The rapid evolution of industry is
another factor that the training sector
is having to come to terms with. A
lot of providers have failed to get to
grips with the change to the trailblazer
apprenticeship standards, therefore
holding back delivery of the new
qualifications and causing unnecessary
confusion within industry.
Over £3 million has
been invested in the
latest technology at
In-Comm’s Aldridge
Academy
We have
teamed up with
Classic Motor
Cars, Grainger
& Worrall and
SDE Technology
to create two
dedicated
learning
spaces
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | IN-COMM TRAINING & BUSINESS SERVICES
You’ve also got transitions to quality
standards, issues caused by Dieselgate
and the elephant in every boardroom
across the UK and Europe. Brexit. That
little concoction is enough to get any
management team looking nervously at
its workforce, and this is already being
reflected in a number of firms making
redundancies. Pressure on them to
keep costs down and meet deadlines
is resulting in apprentices being let
go halfway through their courses
and, despite our best efforts, we are
struggling to find them newemployers.
This is something the government
needs to consider when allocating
funding and distributing Apprenticeship
Levy funds. We raised this very point
to West Midlands Mayor Andy Street
during a recent visit. He acknowledged
our concerns and the potential impact
losing young people could have on
their individual careers and also the
longer-term future ofindustry.
It’s hard enough engaging young
people in vocational learning so,
once we’ve got them, we need to do
everything we can to keep them there
as it still offers great careerprogression.
Embracing new technologies
We also have a whole raft of
new technologies sweeping into
engineering and manufacturing.
Battery power and vehicle
electrification is a major topic in the
automotive sector, while data and
the internet of things have gone from
being buzzwords to being integral
parts of the business plan.
Training has to reflect this. We can’t lead
the world in these new technologies
if we don’t have the supply chain
to support the original equipment
manufacturers, and we can’t have a
supply chain without the right skills
at their disposal. Our role will be to
develop courses that reflect what a
future engineer and manufacturing
specialist will look like, and we’ll
need to tap into the knowledge of
employers to make thishappen.
Going back to the original point,
we’re all in this together, and the
sooner we share best practice and
responsibility, the faster we will bridge
the skills gap. We need to engage the
disengaged, and companies should be
actively encouraged to monitor their
supply chain and to take up relevant
development opportunities.
That’s the long-term vision. In the
meantime, let’s all shout about
what a great career engineering and
manufacturing can be so we can start
changing preconceptions and getting
young people excited with industry.
There’s no time like the present.
The rapid
evolution of
industry is
another factor
that the
training sector
is having to
come to
termswith
Andy Street CBE, Mayor
of the West Midlands,
visited In-Comm Training
recently to find out more
about its employer-led
approach

www.in-comm.co.uk

This article was sponsored by In-Comm Training & Business Services. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development