GROWING engineering company British Engines is opening a training academy to ensure it has access to the skilled workers needed to support the business’s expansion.
The Tyneside-based business, which operates worldwide, will launch Apprenticeship+ in September with its training partner TDR, aiming to address the industry’s skills shortage.
British Engines has run apprenticeships for 50 years, but the new academy will take this to a new level with practical and academic training through foundation, intermediate and four-year advanced levels. The first 25 will start in the autumn.
Company chairman Alex Lamb said: “There is a shortage of skilled engineers in the region. We have come to the conclusion that we must dramatically increase our apprentice intake.
“We have been taking on large numbers of people, but we have to increase the numbers of young people coming into the business. This is a key plank of our growth strategy.”
The company, which works in a number of engineering sectors including the lucrative oil and gas business, has just reported a rise in turnover from £97.3m to £109.5m for the year to the end of April.
Pre-tax profits rose from £7.5m to £9m.
The group is made up of BEL Valves in Newcastle, Cramlington-based CMP Products, Rotary Power in Newcastle, Bishop Auckland-based Stephenson Gobin, and Stadium Packing Services in Swalwell.
Lamb said: “We’ve invested a lot of money in expanding our overseas presence, whether it is more overseas offices or our own people travelling overseas.
““There is growth in our markets in the oil industry. We are busy. It isn’t easy; there are areas of the world, the UK not excluded, which are difficult.
“Other areas are slightly better but we are having to work very hard at it.”