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Black Country Skills Factory delivers first in-company CNC master classes

Manufacturing SME’s can benefit from the first in-company master classes on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) training through the Black Country Skills Factory as part of the bite-sized programme of courses for up-skilling the sector. This is the first CNC machine focused training to be delivered, by industry leaders, in the region.

The Black Country Skills Factory is an employer-led project supported by government funding whose aim is to address the skills shortages in the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) sector in the Black Country, the only scheme of this kind across the UK to focus specifically on the HVM sector.

The two master classes, running on 28 October and 18 - 19 November, will be delivered by Hurco Ltd using the equipment installed at Phoenix Calibration Ltd in Brierley Hill and will focus on the operation and 2D programming of Hurco CNC machining centres.  The master classes are the first to be delivered by Hurco trainer’s in-company.

With little specialist CNC machine training in the Black Country, the Skills Factory are addressing the skills gap through delivering a program of bite-sized training courses, with input from industry and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), to address the current shortage of skilled CNC setters and programmers in the Black Country. The two master classes are amongst a program of 35 bite-sized modules for up-skilling CNC operators into setters.

Colin Parker, Project Director, The Black Country Skills Factory said: "This type of equipment is currently not available in any FE college or private training provider in the region, making it challenging for employers to train their employees. To meet the needs of the HVM sector, we’ve taken an innovative approach and found a company with this equipment who were willing to let employees from other companies be trained on their premises.

"The Skills Factory has brought in training providers from Hurco; the company who manufactures the machines as the ‘experts’ in this equipment. They would normally deliver this training from their base in Buckinghamshire, so we’re grateful to Phoenix Calibration for opening their doors and allowing the training to take place in-house and in the Black Country.”

The Skills Factory is also offering courses on fundamental fixture setting techniques for CNC setters on both machining centres and turning centres. All courses have received a 30% subsidy from the Skills Factory and are offered at £130 per day, per person.

The Black Country Skills Factory offer subsidised bite-sized training courses in key skills shortage areas in the HVM sector. They also offer wage subsidies to companies taking on engineering apprentices within the HVM sector in the Black Country.

For further information on the Black Country Skills Factory or to book your place on the master classes, visit: or contact Colin Parker on 07944 268709 / Jacki Lakin on 07944 268712.

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