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New Heritage Engineering Technician apprenticeship to help prevent traditional automotive craft skills being lost forever

Published: 20 June 2019 - Rachael Morling

The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT), which operates two state-of-the-art training centres in Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury, is offering 15 people the opportunity to study a Heritage Engineering Technician apprenticeship.

The three-year course will equip individuals with a host of skills and knowledge used in the restoration of classic cars, vintage racing and commercial vehicles by combining classroom teaching with the opportunity to apply their learning on real-life tasks, including rebuilding a classic car from scratch.

These skills range from the correct use of materials, tools and equipment to hand seaming, joining materials and understanding how you can find solutions without having any drawings available.

Seven people have already signed-up to take part in the national course, with four companies also showing their backing by offering full-time positions, including Classic Motor Cars and Valley Motorsport.

“It is anticipated that we need 1000 heritage engineering apprentices to offset the number of specialists that are retiring, before we lose these valuable skills forever,” explained Ian Warrilow, MCMT course tutor and a specialist in heritage engineering at Classic Motor Cars.

“The sector is an unsung hero of manufacturing and accounts for £5bn of UK GDP, whether it is in classic car restoration or making sure vintage racing vehicles are kept in prime condition. Our course at MCMT has been designed by experts and is ideal for young people or mature learners looking to train in an exciting career that could see them work on some of the world’s most famous cars.

“We are currently looking for eight more individuals to fill the cohort and also for firms involved in heritage to come forward and back what we are trying to do so we can ensure that every participant has a job before they start.

The Heritage Engineering Technician apprenticeship will be delivered at MCMT’s 36,000 sq ft facility in Bridgnorth. Learners will be taken through the fundamentals of vehicle construction and technology, servicing and diagnosis of heritage vehicles and familiarisation with obsolete technology and systems.

They will also be trained in more modern manufacturing techniques, such as mechanical and electrical skills, CNC machining and metrology to help them develop heritage components through reverse engineering.




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