James Kelly, Managing Director at Elkington Brothers Ltd, said: “We have an ageing workforce and an ever-increasing skills gap but we’ve struggled historically to find a course suitable for new apprentices. We’ve worked closely with the ECMS in relation to developing relevant course content and an apprenticeship which covers the depths needed for pattern and tool making. Following a visit to The Skills Show in November, Christopher Ravenall, 20 from Castle Bromwich, was introduced to Elkington Brothers Ltd, a pattern and toolmaking firm based in Great Barr, Sandwell.
“Since the recession, demand for our products is on the increase and we’re looking to diversify into the rail and aerospace industries so ensuring that the workforce has the skills needed is a priority for the business.”
Christopher said: “I didn’t have that much luck going through the traditional education system so thought that an apprenticeship would be a good alternative route to take. My father is a toolmaker and I’m really keen to learn as much about the industry and engineering as I can in order to have the brightest future.”