Honing future engineering skills

Murray Smith says he would highly recommend the course to other ITCA graduates.
Murray Smith says he would highly recommend the course to other ITCA graduates.

A NORTH-EAST apprenticeship-training company has introduced a course to improve the practical knowledge of future engineers, and to tackle an industry skills shortage.

ITCA Training, based in Aberdeen’s York Street, has recently seen another learner complete the eight-week hand skills training course as part of a clients graduate scheme.

The training centre, which is one of Scotland’s largest engineering apprenticeship-training firms, was approached by Turriff-based ACE Winches to deliver a customised course in order to offer graduates practical, hands-on experience in welding, fitting and assembly, electrical, pneumatics, hydraulics and health and safety.

The company already uses ITCA for apprentice training through the Modern Apprenticeship scheme.

The hand skills course offers graduates who have already gained a degree a wider knowledge of practical skills and workshop health and safety awareness.

The graduates are rotated round all divisions of ACE Winches, in order for them to achieve a good understanding of the manufacturing process, and the challenges they could face.

ACE Winches HR manager, Shirley Butcher, said: “The course with ITCA was designed to fit our needs and has provided the graduates with extensive knowledge of manufacturing processes in order to start their graduate programme with experience in a workshop environment.

“We are committed to developing homegrown talent, as skill shortages are of a significant concern for all engineering companies.

“Our CEO began his career as a marine engineer apprentice and he understands the importance of apprenticeships and graduate programmes to both the business and to young people.”

ITCA managing director, June Jones, said: “There is definitely a skills shortage in the industry, and therefore it is vital to grow talent from within.

“The course that we organised for ACE Winches offers graduates practical knowledge and experience, to help to prepare them for their role within the oil and gas industry, proving there is demand for this type of courses.

“We hope this course highlights the importance of practical training within an organisation and will be offering this type of course to other companies within the sector.”

Murray Smith, from Turriff, a member of the ACE Winches Graduate Scheme, is the latest learner to complete the course. As a product design engineering student, he is due to graduate this summer.

He said: “I have learned an unbelievable amount during my time at ITCA. I have gained a higher ability of practical skills and have a better understanding of the engineering processes and the capabilities of the machinery.

“I enjoyed every department I spent time working in and highly recommend the course to other graduates.”

To find out what ITCA can offer your business, contact 01224 594808 or visit www.itca-training.com