BACK TO WORK: Fort Dunlop based Precision Micro launches 2024 apprenticeship drive

Words by BTW editorial team and Precision Micro / Pics supplied by Precision Micro

World leading, Erdington based, engineering company Precision Micro is looking for a fresh cohort of 16-21 year olds for its 2024 apprenticeship drive.

Based on Vantage Way, a stone’s throw from the Fort Shopping Park and Castle Vale, the internationally renowned photochemical etching company has been training young people for years – giving them the specialist skills they need for a career in precision engineering.

Providing opportunities for local young people, Precision Micro has welcomed students from Greenwood Academy through previous apprenticeship drives – getting them set on a lifelong career path at the cutting edge of engineering.

Throughout their comprehensive four-year program, apprentices will gain invaluable hands-on experience across all departments within Precision Micro – refining the crucial skills necessary for producing precision-etched metal components.

A global player in chemical etching, Precision Micro plays a key role in critical applications across many sectors, including lifesaving surgery, military jets, luxury cars, surveillance drones, and more.

Applications for the Precision Micro apprenticeship 2024 drive will be accepted until 31 May.

Successful candidates will commence their apprenticeships in September 2024 while pursuing a Level 3 qualification in engineering through Birmingham Metropolitan College – James Watt Campus.

A proud management-owned business situated at Fort Dunlop, Precision Micro’s commitment to investing in its workforce is underscored by Director and Co-owner Mick Taylor, who embarked on his career journey as an apprentice himself thirty years ago.

Mick shared his enthusiasm, telling Erdington Local: “With substantial investments in our facility and equipment in recent years, there has never been a more exciting time to join Precision Micro.

“Our previous cohort of apprentices have flourished, contributing to our culture while gaining invaluable insights into our business and the industries we serve.”

In 2022, Greenwood Academy students Clayton and Kyle started out on the Precision Micro apprenticeship program – taking their first steps into the world of work with the Erdington based engineering company, just as the firm’s current Director and Co-owner Mick Taylor did three decades ago.

Clayton told Erdington Local: “I have gained a vast amount of knowledge that helps me in different situations to either solve problems, guide jobs around the process or to work on the different projects that are incomplete”.

Kyle added: “Everyone at Precision Micro is so kind, helpful, and approachable, meaning you never have to feel scared to ask questions.

“My time here so far has helped me to grow as a person, in confidence and knowledge, so I can’t thank the business enough for this opportunity.”

Since 2019, Precision Micro has invested more than £7million in upgrading its Erdington based facility – including £1.8 million in 2024, building a second etch room that significantly increases capacity and underpins its ambitious growth strategy.

Across 2024, the world leading engineering firm has plans to grow by a further 20%, with existing and new apprenticeships playing an integral role in the company’s long-term success.

Precision Micro’s 2024 apprenticeship drive is open to local young people aged between 16-21 – anyone interested should register their interest before 31 May.

To make an application visit www.resources.precisionmicro.com/apprenticeships

For more on Precision Micro visit www.precisionmicro.com

BACK TO WORK: Erdington engineering firm Precision Micro looking for 16-21-year-olds to join 2023 Apprenticeship Scheme

Words by BTW editorial team and Precision Micro / Pics supplied by Precision Micro

Erdington based engineering firm Precision Micro are looking for 16-21-year-olds to join their 2023 Apprenticeship Scheme

A proud Birmingham business, Precision Micro began its operations in the city’s famous Jewellery Quarter in 1962 but is now based at Fort Dunlop – supplying parts for well known global brands in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and energy sectors.

Following the success of last year’s apprenticeship drive, the management-owned engineering company is now looking to welcome a brand-new cohort into its 2023 Apprenticeship Scheme, and kickstart their careers in the engineering industry.

During the four-year placement, apprentices will have the opportunity to experience every department within Precision Micro, learning the key skills required to produce precision-etched metal components.

Successful applicants will begin their apprenticeships in September this year, while working towards a Level 3 in Engineering with Birmingham Metropolitan College – James Watt Campus in Great Barr.

Precision Micro produces millions of high-quality precision etched components every year and has a long history of investing in its people, with its Director and Co-owner, Mick Taylor, himself starting out as an apprentice three decades ago.

Mick Taylor, Director at Precision Micro, said: “We’ve been investing heavily in our business in recent years, with millions of pounds put into expanding and upgrading our facility and equipment, so it’s a really exciting time to be joining Precision Micro.

“Last year, four apprentices joined us and they’re all flourishing within their roles, learning lots about our business and the industries which we support, as well as contributing to the high levels of quality we pride ourselves on.”

Amongst the 2022 apprentices, Clayton and Kyle both began their time at Precision Micro after studying at Greenwood Academy on Castle Vale – neighbouring the Fort Dunlop engineering firm.

Clayton, who currently works in the Precision Micro quality team, told: “I have gained a vast amount of knowledge that helps me in different situations to either solve problems, guide jobs around the process or to work on the different projects that are incomplete”.

Kyle, who began his Process Engineering apprenticeship last year, said: “Everyone at Precision Micro is so kind, helpful, and approachable meaning you never have to feel scared to ask questions.

“My time here so far has helped me to grow as a person, in confidence and knowledge, so I can’t thank the business enough for this opportunity.”

Greenwood Academy’s Engineering teacher, Gregory Crookendale, added: “Clayton and Kyle were always model students who always showed a keen interest and aptitude for Engineering.

“I am very proud of them and I know that their resilience and dedication will serve them well in their apprenticeships.”

Since 2019, Precision Micro has invested more than £5million in upgrading its facility, significantly increasing capacity and underpinning its growth strategy, with plans to invest a further £1.4million in 2023.

This year, the company is targeting 20% growth and believes investing in apprentices will be key to achieving its ambitions and sustaining performance for years to come, with key development areas outlined in its new ESG framework.

To apply for the Precision Micro 2023 Apprenticeship Scheme, visit www.resources.precisionmicro.com/apprenticeships

For more on Precision Micro visit www.precisionmicro.com

BACK TO WORK: Jobs Fair to be held at St Barnabas Church on Tuesday 31 January

Words by Steve Sharma & Ed King / Pics supplied by WLCA & Ed King

On Tuesday 31 January, a Jobs Fair will be held at St Barnabas Church on Erdington High Street – giving local job seekers the chance to meet large employers in the area.

Organised by Witton Lodge Community Association (WLCA) in partnership with the Erdington Business Improvement District (BID) the event will also provide a chance to speak directly with training providers, as well as to apply for live vacancies.

A previous Jobs Fair, held at the Erdington High Street church in August, brought together a range of providers offering opportunities around digital skills.

With medical providers and disability support charities attending the January event, including the NHS and Mencap, there will be a range of employment opportunities for people interested in a career in healthcare.

More than 70 people attended the first Jobs Fair event, with most of the employment stands busy and lined with people waiting to speak to recruiters representing a range of different industries across North Birmingham.

Melissa Gayle, Employability Coordinator at WLCA, said: “We had a wonderful turnout at the last event and are confident this next one will be just as popular as Job Fairs are a very effective way of allowing people to connect with employers.

“They also provide job seekers with the opportunity to interview for vacancies.”

John Hodgkiss, Erdington Town Centre and BID Manager, added: “The name of the project is the Erdington Employment Charter.

“It’s being put into place to offer local Erdington job seekers the best chance of success, with local partners in both the public and private sectors working together to identify local job vacancies and expedite these through to local residents.

“Furthermore, candidates will be offered a bespoke employment service tailored to them, from application advice and help through to post interview support and guidance.

“There will be an expert team on hand to offer this support, and we urge any local employers in the Erdington area to contact us with open vacancies, so we can fill these with local Erdington talent with no expense to the employer.”

St Barnabas Church, the oldest church in Erdington, hold regular community events – including a stay and play called Barnie Babies, a youth café run in conjunction with local faith based support charity Urban Devotion, and a weekly Warm Space Café with free soup and refreshments.

Jane Smith, St Barnabas Parish Administrator and Communications Co-ordinator, told: “There have been several Jobs Fairs hosted at St Barnabas Church Centre over the years and we’re always delighted to work with local partners to help make them happen.

“The events provide a valuable opportunity for local people to meet employers and training providers and find useful information on organisations that can support those seeking work.

“It promises to be a busy day and we look forward to welcoming everyone.”

Organisations already confirmed for the WLCA and Erdington BID Jobs Fair at St Barnabas Church on Tuesday 31 January include the National Health Service (NHS), Acado, AM2PM, and Mencap.

Any employers who are looking to recruit in North Birmingham and who would like to be part of event, and the wider Erdington Employment Charter, are asked to email the Erdington BID at erdingtonhighstreet@hotmail.co.uk

For more from Witton Lodge Community Association visit www.wittonlodge.org.uk

For more from the Erdington Business Improvement District visit www.erdingtonhighstreet.co.uk

For more from St Barnabas, including links to their social media and community events programme, visit www.stbarnabaserdington.org.uk

BACK TO WORK: Free online employment training courses for Falcon Lodge and Castle Vale residents

Words and pics from Compass Support

Compass Support has launched a free seven-week course starting in February to improve job prospects for Falcon Lodge and Castle Vale residents who are currently unemployed or looking for work.

With two places left on the next course at Falcon Lodge, if you are interested, apply quickly, though registering now will also place you on a waiting list for courses and opportunities in both Falcon Lodge and Castle Vale.

The organisers are inviting any unemployed person, especially those in Falcon Lodge, who is looking for work and would like help to apply by calling Rob Harris, Employability Advisor at Compass Support on 07841 067662.

The course follows on from the successful training that has already taken place both in person and since the lockdown online. Now due to Lockdown 3.0, the training is taking place fully online, and is open to more people with mobility issues.

The Compass Support Employability & Wellbeing team will be delivering the training, which includes CV and job application support and life coaching.

The timetable (see below) is packed with a combination of preparing for employment training and wellbeing sessions from Compass Support team members and guest speakers. There are also one to one sessions for participants and a weekly action plan so that each trainee gets the most out of the course.

Former trainees have used the skills gained during the course to secure voluntary work with the likes of Upcycle and the Environmental Trust, often going on to secure paid employment.

Interested participants can also work towards qualifications in food hygiene, first aid and computer training to improve their job prospects or route to voluntary work. A young lady who attended the last course, for example, gained her first aid and hygiene qualifications to help her to secure work in childcare.

People taking part in the course get to know each other and offer mutual support by connecting through the Get Healthy Get Working WhatsApp group, with many going on to form lasting friendships.

As well as training, the Compass Support team is providing tablet loan scheme to access course work online, apply for jobs and learn new digital skills.

As part of the course, trainees also have access to Zoom and Facebook Live fitness and wellbeing sessions, from yoga to circuit training.

An especially popular session is learning to cook with Rob Harris, with delicious dishes such as vegetable curry, leek and potato soup, bean and pasta stew on the menu. After the sessions, the ingredients are delivered to the participants to cook themselves.

Rob Harris, Employability Advisor at Compass Support, said:

“We used to run a job club at Falcon Lodge so we recognise that there is a need to help residents to improve their chances to find employment.

“Sadly, the coronavirus has left many more unemployed in our area and we are working tirelessly to ensure that we can help as many people into employment as possible. If this new course helps just a handful of residents to get a job, we have done our job.”

Project funding was secured through The Henry Smith Charity, founded in 1628, as part of its Improving Lives funding stream.

For more information, call the Education & Employment team on 07841 067662

For more from Compass Support, visit www.compass-support.org.uk