A Preston-based engineering company has upskilled its workforce and improved its competitiveness after working with the EnginE project.

Electropak is a family-run sub-contract manufacturer which works in the supply chain for the aerospace, rail, automotive and health sectors.

The company has benefitted from EnginE, which addresses skills gaps and productivity issues which currently face the advanced engineering and manufacturing sector. The project raises awareness of higher level and degree level apprenticeships as an effective way of upskilling the workforce and increasing productivity in AEM SMEs in Lancashire.

Analysing the company’s training needs and skills planning

Blackburn College undertook an Organisational Needs Analysis of Electropak and worked together on skills planning for the business.

It was evident 3D CAD Modelling and 3D Printing were becoming increasingly important for the company to understand and recommended that Electropak attended a 3D Printing and 3D CAD Modelling masterclass to develop its knowledge about these technological developments in their sector. The free skills planning highlighted the need for supervisory level employees from Electropak to attend both Leadership & Management and Procurement masterclasses to develop their leadership skills.

 Delivering benefits to the company

Electropak’s sales director, Matthew Lambert, said: “Working in a small engineering business, you often wear many hats; sales, project management, engineering support, procurement, HR, finance etc. You need to know a lot! The masterclasses offer training and advice in these areas, which is nice to have rather than just learning on the job.

“The content of the masterclasses is relevant and well delivered by people experienced in their field. I like the half-day format, which is concise and doesn’t drag. The classes are attended by people from other engineering SMEs and this provides a good networking opportunity.”

Linda Palentine, EnginE Business Engagement Officer, stated: “As a result of participating in the EnginE project, Electropak has been able to access free skills planning and has had the opportunity to upskill the workforce and increase their knowledge to enable them to become more competitive.

“Through attending the masterclasses, they have also been able to learn about how higher level and degree level apprenticeships provide AEM SMEs with an alternative and vocational route to higher education. We hope to see Electropak take advantage of the fully funded taster modules which are on offer.”

The EnginE project has been co-designed by Higher Education, Further Education and industry representative partners (Lancaster University, Blackpool and Fylde College, Blackburn College and Northern Automotive Alliance).  EnginE will deliver projects with Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing (AEM) SMEs to build their capacity for higher level skills and degree apprenticeships.  The project is part-funded by the European Social Fund and is available through Boost.

For more information, contact EnginE@blackburn.ac.uk or to start your growth conversation call Boost on 0800 488 0057 or click here.

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