Midland Group Training Services (MGTS) were delighted to host a visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent at their Redditch Technical Centre on Monday 25 November 2019.
The Duke of Kent was introduced to a number of civic dignitaries including the Mayor of Redditch, the High Sheriff of Worcestershire and the Chair of Worcestershire County Council.
Guests were presented with an overview of MGTS by Chief Executive David Bridgens, who highlighted the successes and challenges of the business. This was followed by a tour of the training centre during which His Royal Highness met engineering apprentices and MGTS staff.
Apprentices Megan Childs (Heller Machine Tools) and Nicholas Packwood (Honeywell Hymatic) together with Technical Trainer John Miller spoke with The Duke of Kent about core engineering skills linked to machining, inspection techniques and assembly skills. They also provided an example of a complex component that apprentices would manufacture at the end of their first year of training.
The next stage of the tour covered the Food and Drink Engineering Maintenance Programme area. Steve Palmer, Director of Delivery and Development explained how MGTS had secured a contract with Morrisons to train their engineering maintenance apprentices on a national basis and talked about the level of investment by both MGTS and industry partners. Norbert Dylo (Princes Foods) and James Cooper (Morrisons) gave a demonstration of electro-pneumatics circuits explaining how they were relevant in the Food and Drink industry.
His Royal Highness was then introduced to two apprentices from Thorlux Lighting, Jacob Paine and Morgan Reynolds, who along with Technical Trainer Aaron Singh demonstrated a miniaturised version of a ‘state of the art’ production line. They explained how the highly automated system was used to train apprentices to set up, program and use instrumentation to pinpoint faults or broken components on a factory production line. The apprentices also demonstrated their programming skills by printing personalised product labels bearing The Duke of Kent’s title.
Finally MGTS Chairman, Giles Lawton thanked The Duke of Kent for visiting the training centre before His Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.
David Bridgens commented, “It was an honour for us to meet The Duke of Kent and see how interested His Royal Highness was in the engineering apprenticeship programmes and how MGTS were supporting the local region regarding skills development.”