Opening of New Premises and Commitment to Address Skills Gap
The West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, joined Auctus Management Group (AMG) in their inauguration of new premises, demonstrating support for their mission to enhance skills and employment opportunities in the region. The event witnessed the presence of key partners, including the mental health charity MIND, Bodyguard Workwear, Midland Metro Alliance, and TPA.
Addressing the move, Richard Toy, CEO of Auctus Management Group, expressed excitement about the development and stressed the importance of innovative thinking for the Midlands to maintain its competitiveness among other UK powerhouses. Toy emphasized the need for regional businesses to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of projects, crucial for achieving productivity and efficiency targets.
Challenges Ahead: Brexit, Skills Shortages, and Aging Workforce
The prevailing uncertainty due to Brexit and the intentions of several prominent companies to either relocate their manufacturing plants or downsize operations has created a challenging environment in the UK. This situation has resulted in a substantial number of redundancies. To compound matters, the transport and construction sectors face the task of executing over £60 billion worth of investment programs in the next decade. These programs include major initiatives like HS2, West Midlands Metro extensions, and the Commonwealth Games. To overcome potential delays caused by skills shortages and an aging workforce, an urgent strategy is required.
The skills shortage is primarily attributed to the reduction in engineering functions and the demand for specialized expertise necessitated by complex projects utilizing new technologies and procedures. Short-term solutions are elusive, but addressing the sector’s poor image, lack of diversity, and inadequate investment in workforce welfare are essential long-term measures. Additionally, the educational system needs to encourage young people to pursue vocational paths, historically a source of engineering talent. The government has reiterated its commitment to new T-levels and apprenticeships to address this issue.
AMG’s Commitment to Addressing Skills Shortages
Auctus Management Group and its subsidiaries, RSS Infrastructure and INFRA Skills, have received numerous awards for their persistent efforts to improve working conditions and reduce the skills shortage. They have forged partnerships with local agencies, colleges, charities, and government departments to support individuals with disabilities and those struggling to find work by removing barriers hindering their employment prospects.
The company has been instrumental in providing skills and knowledge to people who have recently lost their jobs and members of the Armed Forces community. By offering training in the infrastructure sector and emphasizing on-site safety, AMG is helping bridge the skills gap. INFRA Skills, in collaboration with Colas Rail, has developed the UK’s first level 3 rail apprenticeship standard, allowing young individuals to gain experience in the rail industry while enhancing their scientific, technical, engineering, mathematics, and design skills. The Rail Apprenticeships are designed to meet both current and future needs of the sector, offering courses in Plain Line, Signalling, Rolling Stock, and Overhead Line Electrification.
New Offices and Continued Support for the Midlands
The success of AMG’s programs has led to the expansion into new 10,000-square-foot offices located at The Tech Block, Gee Business Centre, Holborn Hill, Aston, Birmingham, B7 5JR. In line with the government’s vision to transform the Midlands into a growth engine, INFRA Skills has played a pivotal role by providing a range of services across the sector, including safety, training, and community engagement. The company has developed a comprehensive course catalogue covering CITB, Rail Apprenticeships, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Training, Highfield qualifications up to level 5, Mental Health Training, NPTC (Rail Specific), Health and Safety, and National Skills Academy (Network Rail approved) competency training and assessments.
The West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, has expressed support for Auctus Management Group’s mission to bridge the skills gap and address shortages in the region. The collaboration with key partners and the dedication to innovation and workforce development demonstrate a commitment to the growth and competitiveness of the Midlands. By investing in local talent, fostering partnerships, and providing high-quality training, AMG is actively working towards ensuring timely delivery and success of critical infrastructure projects.