Midlands partnership aims for engineer apprentices 02 March 2011

Midland Tool and Design has joined forces with Dudley College in a bid to improve take-up of engineering apprenticeships in the West Midlands.

The Black Country firm says it has established the partnership to help aspiring engineers gain NVQ qualifications alongside practical on-the-job experience, following 50% growth last year.

Apprentices will spend one day a week at the college, learning engineering skills, and the rest at MTD's Tipton headquarters.

MTD managing director Darren Booton says that, while the firm was able to add nine new staff in 2010, he was surprised at the lack of West Midlands' youngsters looking for careers in engineering.

"Engineering apprenticeships are becoming more popular around the country, apparently, but this has not been our experience," he says. "The need for apprentices in our industry has never been greater, as manufacturing and engineering are making strong recoveries from the recession."

The firm has already taken on its first apprentice – 19-year-old Gareth Vickers, and will be looking to add another two or three this year.

Brian Tinham

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Midland Tool & Design Ltd

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