Breaking boundaries: BEL Engineering’s pioneering training school launches in the North East, empowering a new generation of apprentices

"The collaboration between DMG Mori and BEL Engineering represents our commitment to bridging the skills gap in the manufacturing sector. We are confident that this partnership will produce highly skilled apprentices who will go on to become valuable contributors to our industry."

Jonathan Lamb, Chairman at BEL Engineering

British Engines Group company, BEL Engineering, has announced a £300,000 collaboration with DMG Mori to create an apprentice training school at its site in Newcastle upon Tyne.

This partnership will nurture and develop highly skilled apprentices, meeting the growing demand for skilled professionals in the manufacturing industry.

First year apprentices at the training school will undergo an intensive 36 week programme, combining classroom and hands-on learning. This comprehensive approach aims to equip apprentices with practical skills and in-depth knowledge to excel in their careers.

The training centre will provide an enriched learning environment that extends beyond traditional classroom settings. Apprentices will work on live customer designs using excess materials to gain a deeper understanding of customer specifications.

With a curriculum comprising of 20 modules, apprentices will undergo rigorous training before sitting a final exam at the end of the year. Throughout the programme, apprentices spend half of the day learning to machine conforming products in accordance with customer tolerances. The remaining half of the day is dedicated to classroom-based learning, covering, amongst other subjects, health and safety, cutting tools and geometric tolerancing.

This enhanced programme will be delivered to apprentices in conjunction with the British Engines Group four-year Apprenticeship+ programme, where apprentices spend the first 20 weeks at TDR Training in Benton, Newcastle upon Tyne. After the 20 weeks, apprentices will join one of eight businesses within the British Engines Group whilst studying one day a week at TDR Training.

In years three and four of their apprenticeship, apprentices have the opportunity to complete a HNC in Mechanical Engineering and a HND in General Engineering.

As part of the unique apprentice training programme, apprentices have the opportunity to visit BEL Engineering’s main customers, and vice versa. This hands-on experience will allow apprentices to witness firsthand how customers operate and understand the critical role of precision engineering.

In September, BEL Engineering will welcome 12 aspiring apprentices, an increase from four apprentices in 2022. This expansion reflects the commitment of BEL Engineering and the training school to meet the growing demand for skilled individuals in the manufacturing sector. Overall, the British Engines Group will welcome 31 new aspiring apprentices.

The new training school marks a departure from the traditional apprenticeship model, where apprentices typically shadow machinists in their first year. By providing enhanced training from the outset, the training school aims to add value one year earlier, empowering apprentices to make a significant contribution to the industry sooner.