iMET opened its doors to welcome the first cohort of Composite Technician Apprentices at its new multi-million pound Advanced Training facility at Alconbury Weald earlier this week.

The new Composites Apprenticeship has been developed through the close collaboration between iMET and local business Codem Composites along with National Composites Centre to tailor the training curriculum to meet the specialized needs of the composites industry.

The first cohort comprises 10 first year apprentices from both Codem Composites and also TRB Lightweight Structures and over the 3-year course, will equip the students with a BTEC qualification, an NVQ qualification, and will prepare the students to apply for their initial professional qualification; EngTech.

To mark the occasion, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor James Palmer visited iMET on Monday to see first-hand how the apprentices were being given the skills that will help them further their careers.

“To see the apprentices already at work is fantastic and what’s exciting is that this is just the start. The UK has a significant productivity challenge, and the Combined Authority is committed to a skills agenda that offers real solutions for the local economy, with iMET a prime example.” Mayor Palmer said.

There is a significant cluster of composite businesses in Cambridgeshire, many of whom struggle to recruit staff with the required skills. The creation of the Composites Technician apprenticeship at iMET is a unique opportunity to put the area at the forefront of composites manufacture and therefore grow the local economy.

‘iMET’s innovative training approach is truly industry led, ensuring that our advanced engineering programmes are tailored to provide businesses with exactly the kinds of skills they need to grow.  Our first dedicated Composites Apprenticeship program has been developed as a result of working hand in hand with specialists from the composite industry and is a great example of us putting the iMET philosophy into practice’ said Jo Sainsbury, Managing Director, iMET.

For local businesses such as Codem and TRB, it is this tailored, bespoke training approach that really makes the difference and will help them secure the future availability of skilled personnel as both companies gear up to meet their future growth plans in this dynamic sector.

“Apprenticeships are a great way for us to bring in new talent into our business. Being able to partner with iMET to develop Composite modules that truly represent our business is a huge step forward for us, reducing the need for additional inhouse training. It also helps us to attract and retain our staff longer term as our business grows.” Monika Wiacek, Training Coordinator, Codem Composites Ltd.

“”It is our genuine belief that to grow our business we must grow our people. We are giving local people the skills they need to grow their careers in TRB with the support of the iMET.” Richard Holland, Managing Director, TRB Lightweight Structures.

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Notes to Editors

About iMET

iMET is an advanced technical training centre, based in the heart of the Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus, providing higher-level training for the built environment, manufacturing and science & technology sectors in the East Anglia region.

A joint venture between Peterborough Regional College and Cambridge Regional College and funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, via the Government’s Local Growth Fund, iMET focuses on teaching vocational skills and bringing businesses together from a range of different sectors, industries and disciplines for the purpose of equipping current and future generations with industry-relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours.

About Codem Composites Ltd.

Founded in 2009, Codem Composites is a technology business firmly embedded in the rapidly expanding market of carbon fibre component manufacture, serving the motorsport, satellite communications industry as well as other commercial and bespoke applications. The predominant business offering is the design and manufacture of composite tooling and components using various materials, including carbon fibre, Kevlar, glass fibre, 3D printed plastics, titanium and phenolic and metallic cores.  October saw Codem Composites sign a 10-year lease for a new 11,000 sq ft facility at Harrier Park, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, in a move from its current facilities in Sawtry, Huntingdon, in order to meet its immediate need for additional commercial space as well as provide for further expansion in line with its business growth plans.

About TRB Lightweight Structures

Since its formation in 1952, TRB has grown into a leading international manufacturing and engineering company, specialising in lightweight composite product. With facilities in UK, Europe and USA.