19/07/13 new welders training centre - Uttoxeter, UttoxeterMomentum,team setting up a welders' training centre in Uttox
UTTOXETER’S economy has received its third boost in less than two weeks through a ‘brilliant’ £30,000 project to train and fast-track the unemployed into well-paid production jobs.
Momentum, a recruitment agency specialising in providing welders for production firms, has opened a training school in Marchington Industrial Estate.
The company, based in Town Meadows Way, Uttoxeter, is reacting to a ‘massive void’ in the number of welders trained to production level.
The move, backed by Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths, follows months of bringing in workers from abroad, primarily from Spain, Slovenia and Greece.
It was revealed last week there were around 700 people in Uttoxeter and its satellite villages claiming out-of-work benefits.
But, with Momentum struggling to meet demand for welders, it new project looks likely to launch hundreds of claimants into vacant jobs.
Company owner Gareth Carter said he and his colleagues are from the area and are keen to see its jobs market thrive.
He said: “We’re all ex-welders and qualified assessors and, to be brutally honest, a lot of welders who train at college aren’t up to production standard.
“With our partner, Blue Arrow, we put people into work at companies including JCB and also supply Faurecia, who produce car parts for a host of international companies, several power stations and many more firms.
“We’ll be working in partnership with Job Centre Plus and Burton College and are initially investing £30,000 in the project.
“It’s all funded and free for those who are unemployed and claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance.
“We want people who are eager to get back into work and learn a new skill.
Come into our office, the job centre or college for more information and to sign up.
“Our first full-time, four-week course starts on August 5 and we’re holding an open day in Marchington on August 6.”
Momentum’s move comes less than a week after JCB recruited 130 apprentices and a brand new jobs club was launched in town.
Its courses will be full time courses lasting four weeks or longer, part time programmes.
Trainer-assessor Sam Mellor told the Advertiser the training centre will signal Momentum becoming ‘unrivalled’ in its field.
He said: “They’ll be trained in MIG and MAG welding and be given work experience and help them find work through the agency where it wouldn’t usually be accessible.
“It’s win-win for everyone – the town economy, employers in the area and will give us a unique opportunity.
“We’re living in one of the main manufacturing hubs in the UK and there’s an enormous demand for welders.
“We’ll get trainees up to a standard where they can go into work and be employable.
“People stay in the welding trade for a good 30 years and, once you’ve learned the skills, you don’t lose them.
“There’s already huge interest within the trade about our project.”
Uttoxeter major Hugh Montgomery said: “It’s an absolutely brilliant idea. Here’s a guy who was trying to recruit people but couldn’t find them in this country.
“Instead of carrying on with this, he said ‘this is silly. Let’s train people up in this country’.
“That’s exactly the kind of enterprise we need to bring more jobs to the Uttoxeter area.
“If this is shown to work here, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be rolled out in the rest of the Midlands, which is a huge area for manufacturing and production.”
Anyone interested in enrolling is asked to call in at Momentum’s Town Meadows Way hub, enquire at the job centre or speak to Burton College