LEMA, the Lean Engineering and Manufacturing Academy are celebrating a successful start to 2021 after placing 20 new Engineering Apprentices.

For nearly a decade Lean Engineering and Manufacturing Academy (LEMA) has worked with hundreds of manufacturing and engineering employers across the West Midlands and supported thousands of young people to develop high quality engineering and manufacturing skills.

In a refreshing announcement considering the current lockdown circumstances as a result of the pandemic, the 20 Engineering Apprentices will be spread across 14 different employers.

LEMA Commercial Manager Tammy Leipacher comments: “Like many businesses, the employers that we are working with are not without their challenges, but they are battling through anyway and are massively bucking the trend of where you think things would be.

“We are hearing that employers have got to the stage where they can only wait for so long in the current situation, they have got to look to the future and act now. We have placed Apprentices in a variety of roles too, from machinists and CAD designers to Quality engineers”.

A number of companies took on multiple Apprentices, with one employer seizing the opportunity by appointing 4 as part of the January intake.

Tammy continues: “What was great to see was that there was a mixture of companies that we have got lasting relationships with and new companies. 6 brand new companies including some that had never taken on Apprentices before.

“We are increasingly moving into a larger employer base but find smaller companies are more fluid throughout the year with their recruitment cycle. This is where we can support them quite well, because we have 4 apprenticeship intakes throughout the year. For a small company, if they are thinking in December, ‘we need to grow the business and move forward and take on an Apprentice’, it is a long wait for them if they are asked to wait until September so the fact that we have that flexibility works well”.

All Apprentices placed will be level 3 learners, most of which have come through the LEMA Pre-Apprenticeship programme.

“Even the apprentices that are slightly older go through our rigorous assessment process. We also do a lot of work to open their eyes to what they can expect from life in engineering, so it is not so much of a shock when they are expected to get up at 6am and catch the bus to work for example” concludes Tammy.