The Gestamp Training and Wellbeing Academy, based at Aycliffe Business Park (Newton Aycliffe) has seen external demand for its specialist welding training increase by 200 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, compared with figures for the whole of 2021.

Situated adjacent to Gestamp’s manufacturing facility in its own 4,200 sq ft purpose-built space, the Training and Wellbeing Academy has been supporting the development of Gestamp employees since 2016 and is also now working with local employers to upskill and reskill their workforces.

In the first three months of 2022, the academy saw an increase in training bookings from a range of companies including an automotive supplier, a training company and a warehousing and distribution facility, for its specialist MIG and TIG welding. This exceeds the total number of training bookings for 2021.

Gestamp’s bespoke training provides flexibility to employers and the academy offers specific training based on their requirements. The training covers a wide area of expertise in both MIG/MAG and TIG welding on mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium, in addition to robotics training, which covers both the operation and maintenance of the machines.

The training, designed and delivered by Gestamp, is designed to be fit for purpose for each employer and training provider, and can be delivered on a client’s site or at Gestamp’s facility.

Paul James, Head of Training and Wellbeing Academy, at Gestamp commented: “It’s fantastic to see the results from the last few months and to have had the opportunity to work with such a diverse range of employers. We’re extremely privileged to be able to support local companies with the specialist training their teams require.

“Too often ‘off-the-shelf’ welding and robotics training is very rigid and can mean that companies are getting too much, too little or none of the level of training they need. That is why we take the time to talk to employers, visit their facilities and apply Gestamp’s decades of experience to deliver training programmes that will address their needs.

“This approach has proved very successful, and it’s the method we use at Gestamp, where we believe in People the Architects of Success.”

Lee Childs, Director of NC Group, which provides a range of bespoke training to companies and has worked in partnership with the Wellbeing and Training Academy for a number of years, commented: “We work together on delivering training and consultancy packages for a number of companies who have requests for training that we’re not able to fulfil ourselves.

“We haven’t found anyone else like the Gestamp team who can deliver bespoke training to specification and requirements, as well as offering advice and guidance to get people into work and keeping them there with the skills they need.

“The team has provided fantastic training and are continuing to help us develop workforces.”

The Training and Wellbeing Academy features specialist welding bays, a tooling facility, an extensive robotics maintenance and training area as well as classrooms and an auditorium. In development is its wellbeing suite, which will include a medical area, physiotherapy suites and a wellbeing zone. The ambition of the academy is to be a central hub to supporting its employees and the employees of other local businesses and community groups with training and wellbeing support.