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Skills Factory leadership and management programme  gets off to a flying start

12 delegates successfully completed their first Black Country Skills Factory leadership and management course, Basic Employment Law, and will receive accreditation from Open College Network West Midlands.  

Hosted by best practice UK manufacturing company Thomas Dudley Ltd and training delivered by Irwin Mitchell LLP; the course was the first of a series of 12 bespoke bite-sized leadership and management courses which aim to up-skill the operational leaders of manufacturing supply chain companies.

Talking about the first course, delegate Richard Sims, Senior Production Engineer from Eurac Group said: "I travelled from Poole, Dorset because this looked like a relevant course pitched at the right level and at the right cost. The quality of the trainer was very good and I feel I have been able to fill gaps in my knowledge of Basic Employment Law.

"With the course being delivered at an engineering company and the opportunity to network with like-minded people working at a similar level in the same sector, is a real positive and unique element that attracted me to these courses.” 

Yvonne Walker, Engineering, Development and Business Systems Director, Thomas Dudley Ltd said: "Thomas Dudley took the lead in the development of the Basic Employment Law training module with Irwin Mitchell and as such we were able to use the session as a pilot for and a continuation of the up skilling of our own management team, a process that has been on-going for around two years. Members of our own team were among the 12 delegates who attended the first course, the feedback has been extremely positive and we look forward to assisting with the roll out of the programme.” 

Managing Health & Safety as an Operational Manager/Leader, the second course, will take place on 14 May and will provide an introduction to the roles and responsibilities and key health and safety functions within an engineering/manufacturing facility. The course will take place at best practice engineering company, Ansaldo NES Ltd, Wolverhampton, and provide an opportunity for delegates to see and discuss with Ansaldo NES staff the realities and challenges of managing healthy and safety as an operational leader.

The programme is accredited by Open College Network West Midlands which is a national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, the Welsh Government and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), to develop and award nationally recognised qualifications.

The courses are aimed at manufacturing companies with a focus on SMEs and operational leaders within these companies who have no formal management training. Courses are one-day, bite-sized modules, delivered in Black Country manufacturing companies with a coaching programme included. Courses cost £160 individually, with discounts available for multiple bookings. 

The development of the training is funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) through their UK Futures Programme – ‘Management and Leadership in Supply Chains and Networked Organisations’. 

The Black Country Skills Factory is an employer-led project 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.

Places are being filled fast, bookings and enquiries can be made via 01384 471163 or  For further information on the project visit and follow on Twitter @BCSkillsFactory.

Picture caption: Delegates who attended the Basic Employment Law course, including trainers from Irwin Mitchell LLP and a representative from the host company, Thomas Dudley Ltd.


Full course programme

Basic Employment Law15 April 2015
Managing Health & Safety as an Operational Manager/Leader14 May 2015
Control of Quality in the Workplace3 June 2015
Communication Skills16 June 2015
Lean14 July 2015
Problem Solving & Decision Making9 Sept 2015
Training the Workforce23 Sept 2015
Time Management9 Oct 2015
Material Planning & Production Control21 Oct 2015
Developing & Coaching Staff4 Nov 2015
Measurement of Production Efficiency18 Nov 2015
Appraisal & Performance Management16 Dec 2015

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