APPRENTICES from Keighley College are supporting the effort to produce desperately-needed ventilator parts during the coronavirus crisis.

A 14-strong cohort from the Bradford Road campus has been helping with the manufacture of components for the machines, in a partnership with Produmax.

The Shipley-based company, which specialises in high-precision engineering and operates globally in conjunction with aerospace manufacturers, normally focuses on the production of machined components and assemblies.

But it has turned its attention to manufacturing ventilator equipment to help meet the soaring demand within the NHS.

And the apprentices are playing a key role, using advanced equipment to support the production.

As part of a long-standing association with Produmax, students on engineering and business improvement courses at the college can take part in apprenticeships with the company alongside their studies.

The programme covers first, second and third-year apprentices.

Ronnie Magee, deputy head at Keighley College, said: “It’s fantastic to see a company in the district supporting the NHS during these challenging times.

“Our apprentices are thrilled to be able to make a difference and assist with producing ventilator components.

“These apprenticeships are incredibly valuable for students, who develop advanced practical skills while gaining a great insight into the work environment.”

Paul Birtles, operations director at Produmax, pays tribute to the students.

He said: “The apprentices have been a phenomenal help during these challenging times.

“It’s brilliant to see them involved in the whole process of the ventilator components, from using advanced equipment to quality checking.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to see how much the students have developed since starting their apprenticeships and we’re committed to providing an enriching learning experience.”

In recent weeks, Produmax has also produced more than 60,000 components for a Rolls Royce and Formula One consortium.

Keighley College provides a range of apprenticeships across many industry sectors, from childcare to fabrication and welding. For more details, visit