Engineering firms in and around Gainsborough have been praised for their collaborative approach to making training opportunities available for young people.
This week a new centre of engineering excellence opened in the town, made possible by a unique partnership. The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership is supporting the Made In Gainsborough Initiative by contributing almost £13k for the first phase of the project, and a provisional allocation of £14.6k has been agreed for a second phase.
Clare Hughes leads on skills at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP. She said: “It’s easy to overlook the fantastic businesses we have on our doorstep because they are hidden on industrial estates or behind large factory doors.
“The Made in Gainsborough initiative will change this by highlighting some of the products made in Lincolnshire, and by making training available for the skilled jobs on offer. It’s really great to see local employers, large and small, collaborating in this way, not only for the benefit of their own businesses, but also in support of local young people.”
Key engineering companies in Gainsborough, who make products worldwide, said they were competing to fill vacancies and struggling to find local training. The challenge is to sustain this important industrial sector in a difficult economic environment and a critical part of this will be to grow talent and skills within the area.
In a bold move, they teamed up with the GLLEP, West Lindsey District Council and Gainsborough College to come up with a training solution for their long-term economic sustainability.
The businesses include: A. Schulman, AMP Rose, Clean Tech, Eminox, Hooton Engineering, Regal Manufacturing Ltd, Trepko, and Wefco.
Andrew Mann, Production Manager for AMP Rose, said it was great to see the centre open and filled with students. He said: “Before now, the closest apprenticeship schemes were in Lincoln and Scunthorpe. When the vacancies for Made In Gainsborough launched, we were inundated with applications – we were well over subscribed.
“This shows that there wasn’t just a demand for local companies, but for the young people of Gainsborough too.
Chairman of West Lindsey District Council Cllr Pat Mewis was invited by the college to officially open the new facility and cut the chain.
She said: “Made in Gainsborough is a truly collaborative initiative, which has been led by engineering businesses in the town, with the support of the GLEEP, the college and the council.
“Together we have been able to secure this wonderful training facility, which will develop future engineering specialists and support the businesses as they continue to grow to support our economy.
“I am very impressed with the facilities and I wish all the students and businesses every success in the future.”
Twenty students have signed up to the engineering college, which includes a number of apprentices and full time learners, ready to start their engineering careers.
Harry Comte is one of them. He’s an apprentice at AMP Rose, and said: “I’m excited to be starting my apprenticeship with Gainsborough College and AMP Rose – I’m buzzing! I knew I wanted a career in engineering so started looking for apprenticeships online, when I found Made In Gainsborough. It’s great because it is local and I don’t have a long drive.”