29 Jun National Foundry Training Centre – a Casting the Future Initiative

Providing apprenticeships and skills training for the foundry, casting and patternmaking industries – for the industry, by the industry.
Work is now progressing well on the new National Foundry Training Centre with ground works and foundations now completed and steel supports for the two floors erected.
Opening at the end of 2017, the centre, which is one part of the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills, ECMS, is a purpose built foundry training centre, located in the West Midlands. The centre will include a fully equipped training foundry with modern melting furnaces moulding and casting equipment, patternshop, design suite and laboratories for QA, sand and mechanical testing to support training for all sectors of the industry.
Supported by the industry’s professional body, the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers, ICME, industry employers through the Cast Metals Federation, and backed by the University of Wolverhampton and Dudley College the centre will enable the industry to deliver the training needed for the industry to continue to thrive and prosper.
The centre, working alongside the other project partners will be able to deliver a variety of programmes as outlined below:

Apprenticeships – a range of pathways for young people to embark on a career in the castings industry – foundry, moulding & coremaking, patternmaking, die casting, investment casting, tooling design and methods engineering.

Upskilling the Workforce – a range of technical short courses, hands-on training and longer term programmes to allow individuals to develop new skills and improve existing ones.
• One and two day technical courses on foundry, metallurgical, methoding and patternmaking topics
• Level 3 EAL Diploma in Casting – part-time nationally recognised programme, delivered to small groups over 2 years
• ICME Certificate in Casting Technology – flexible six-week classroom-based taught programme
• Professional Development for the Castings, Foundry and Patternmaking Industries – a range of leadership, management and continuous improvement courses for the castings industry.
• Bespoke programmes as defined by employers.
Trevor Ayre, project coordinator for ICME, has been traveling the country speaking to employers to find out industry needs as well as promote the new centre. As he says, “All programmes are being designed by employers, for employers, to train the future foundry and patternmaking engineers, technicians and operators that we need for the industry, and will be delivered by trainers with a passion for the industry. We are actively recruiting people interested in supporting the initiative either by becoming tutors and demonstrators, or helping to define the content of the training programmes and apprentice standards, and to write teaching and learning materials. We need industry to be at the heart of what we do in the new training centre”.
Speaking about the project, Pam Murrell, CEO for the Cast Metals Federation, agreed, “Ensuring that the programmes that will be delivered are fit for purpose and meet the needs of the industry is vital. We are seeing an upturn in the industry presently, with increasing order levels and some continued reshoring of parts, but at the same time customer demands and expectations are constantly increasing so there is a need to innovate, provide solutions to problems and push the boundaries for cast materials. If we are to take advantage of the opportunities for growth as well as develop new markets and applications for castings, we need well trained and motivated individuals. We hear a lot about major OEMs and manufacturing / engineering companies recruiting large numbers of apprentices and we need to be able to compete and offer exciting career opportunities with structured training paths to those joining our industry”.
Recruiting now
The centre is actively seeking employers interested in taking on apprentices now and also young people interested to take up careers in casting, patternmaking and foundrywork.
Help is available with recruiting apprentices, planning employee development programmes and advising on funding, so for more information on the National Foundry Training Centre, and how it can help your business, please contact: Trevor Codner, Business Development Manager, ECMS.

E: T.Codner@wlv.ac.uk, mob: 07973695590, enquiry line: 0800 953 3222, office: 01902 321000

Angela Mason
Angela Mason