“An Update on the Elite Centre and ICME Training Provision”

Trevor Ayre FICME ICME, Senior Vice President

Friday, 8 September 2017

Branch President Richard Heath, Prof MICME, welcomed members and guests to the first branch technical lecture of the new presidential year before presenting David Hall of Maxima Engineering the award for the best lecture of the 2016-17 year for his paper “Frying Pans to Formula One – The Life of a Magmasoft User in This Life and Beyond”.

Richard then introduced ICME Senior Vice President Trevor Ayre for his talk on the Elite Centre and ICME training provision and future plans.

1) A reminder of the proposed plans for the centre.

Partnership organisations:
The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership
Cast Metals Federation
Confederation of British Metalforming
Dudley College
Wolverhampton University.

The concept is for a hub from which training centres are seen as the spokes. The ECMS hub is being built on the site of the old Springfield Brewery in Wolverhampton. The foundry spoke is under construction on what was the Duport Harper foundry offices in Dudley Port.

The objectives are to provide world class training facilities which will support the delivery and development of apprentices and further help businesses grow and succeed by upskilling workforces. The foundry training centre includes a conference room, a technical suite, classrooms, laboratories and foundry and patternmaking workshops. Most of the training will be at the centre but by working with partner companies,
colleges and universities it is planned to cover all aspects of production associated with the foundry processes and materials. Whilst some equipment has been purchased others have been provided free of charge or on free loan for which the institute is very grateful.

2) An update of where the development is now.

Construction began in March of this year having overcome the many unexpected issues found during demolition of the original buildings. Steelwork started in June and cladding in July. In November the vertical milling centre for the patternshop will be installed and the centre open for its first students in January next year. Photos showed how the development was progressing. Trevor used the photos to explain the layout of the finished centre.

Whilst no students could use the centre yet but by partnering with Dudley College students will begin studying now the core knowledge subjects such as health and safety.

3) The training goals for ICME.

The institute wishes to support companies in our sector by developing the next generation of foundrymen and women passionate about the industry. Also to have world class training which will meet the industries needs and to develop a training centre which reflects a modern foundry environment and shows students that there is a sustainable career in the foundry industry.

The ICME wishes to be recognised as the specialist training provider for the foundry industry. It will provide apprenticeships, induction programs for those new to the sector, continue with its very successful diploma in casting studies and continue to develop and offer short courses and bespoke training both at the centre and in house.

From the outset it was envisioned that training and education should be employer led. It will provide the quality of foundrymen and women who will lead UK manufacturing to be more productive and more competitive providing opportunity and growth. To assist its aims ICME has been recruiting additional trainers and assessors and is looking for a business development manager, It has restructured the Education, Training and Technical Committee to support the centre and its activities.

Following the presentation Darren Pritchard MICME gave the vote of thanks for an excellent presentation.

Richard Heath presenting David Hall the award for the best lecture of the 2016-17