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Industry experts join Skills Factory to reduce metal and foundry skills shortage in the Black Country

Industry experts will deliver the first series of bite-sized training modules for the metals and foundry industries developed by the Black Country Skills Factory in a direct response to increasing concerns of skills shortages and limited training facilities in the Black Country.

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 three bite-sized courses will be delivered by industry experts from the Institute of Cast Metal Engineers (ICME) and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield. These courses, not available within tradition Further Education settings, aim to up-skill new and existing workforces in foundry and related metals companies to ensure that the levels of knowledge and skills are maintained.

Metallurgy for Non-Metallurgists,   Principles of Heat Treatment and Metal Forming & Processing Techniques courses will run throughout October and November at Wolverhampton Science Park, with 30% of the training costs being met by the Skills Factory.

Colin Parker, Project Director, The Black Country Skills Factory said: "The Black Country region remains at the centre of the UK cast iron foundry and related industries, but there are now only limited trainers and facilities in the region to train new and existing employees with the required skills.  

"The Skills Factory has commissioned industry experts to deliver these bite-sized training courses in the Black Country at the request of employers who have frequently raised the issue of the lack of suitable, affordable training. These modules are the first stage of closing the skills gap and re-building capability”.

The Black Country Skills Factory offer subsidised bite-sized training courses in key skills shortage areas in the HVM sector such as CNC Machining, Toolroom, Metals and Foundry, Maintenance Multi-skilling, Welding and Lean.  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, visit: or contact Colin Parker on 07944 268709 / Jacki Lakin on 07944 268712.

Picture credit: Metal being poured into a sand mould. Image courtesy of AMRC Training Centre.

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