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Black Country Skills Factory Deliver 100th Bite-Sized Course

David Tomkins measuring some materials at AM EDMThe Black Country Skills Factory have delivered their 100th Bite-Sized training course aimed at upskilling the workforce in the Black Country. The Skills Factory have been running bite-sized training courses since March 2016 and have reached the 100th milestone running a series of bite-sized courses in such topics as welding, Microsoft Excel, Motor vehicle maintenance, manufacturing quality control and health and safety.

The 100th course was delivered to A&M EDM. The course covered AutoCAD and was delivered by the University of Wolverhampton at the Wolverhampton Science Park. Because of the unique way that the Skills Factory is funded by the European Union and the Skills Funding Agency, the course was delivered at no cost to the delegates.

Attending the AutoCAD course were David Tomkins and John Brooks, both engineers at A&M EDM based in Smethwick, who specialise in wire and spark erosion and precision engineering manufacturing components for aerospace and automotive customers.

David said: “There’s going to be a gap in the skills at A&M EDM soon due to a retirement so this course has been essential in teaching me how to use AutoCAD. It will mean that I’ll become fully self-sufficient and be able to step up when the time comes”

Neither David nor John had any experience in AutoCAD before taking the course so the small class size and experience trainer added value to the training

Mark Wingfield, MD A&M EDM said: “A&M EDM welcome the bite sized training courses coordinated by the Skills Factory. We have limited training resources and see the bite sized courses as a practical, low cost means of improving the skills of a range of staff.

A&M has enthusiastically participated in the courses; around twelve staff have attended AutoCAD, lean manufacturing and welding courses, all of which have generated positive responses.”

To find out more about the bite-sized courses being held by the Black Country Skills Factory, visit

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