How to manage apprentice training across multiple sites: Ibstock Brick

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As part of National Apprenticeship Week we’re celebrating the best in manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships. Today we look at the UK's biggest brick maker, Ibstock Brick, and how they run their national training programme for mechanical and electrical engineering apprentices across multiple sites with EEF.

In their first-year, the initial cohort of six Ibstock Brick apprentices are studying full-time at the EEF National Technology Training Centre in Aston, Birmingham, with three attending on a residential basis.

Paula Wardle, Training Manager for Ibstock, said: "EEF was able to design training around our needs, offering a programme far more comprehensive than most other providers. We are very pleased with the high level of practical technical skills our apprentices are attaining. They spend at least three days a week in the workshop in a realistic factory environment. Their instructors have vast experience of manufacturing industry and instil the right behaviours for working in modern, Lean manufacturing businesses.

Previously, we partnered with local colleges, but they couldn't offer the same breadth and quality  of training. EEF's consistent, quality delivery fully equips our trainees with the deep knowledge and skills they need to attain their BTEC and NVQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering Maintenance. Three of our current students attend on a residential basis, which works well as our factories are spread across the UK, and the residential offer means all our apprentices can attend the same college, and  there's very good pastoral care and safeguarding." She added: "In their second and third years, the apprentices will be at EEF for two weeks and then at their home factory for three weeks, on a rotating basis. The fourth year is spent with Ibstock, undertaking more specialist training for our industry."

EEF is also providing refresher training in practical technical skills for Ibstock's existing second and third year apprentices, and is working with the company to develop in-house training for upskilling other employees. 

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Talk to EEF about starting or getting more value from your apprenticeship programme. Call 0121 331 3930.

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