UK manufacturers’ organisation EEF announced on Thursday that it has opened a GBP2m state-of-the-art training centre in the Midlands.
EEF said the centre is expected significantly boost the future of British manufacturing. It has been purpose built to teach new generations of manufacturing and engineering apprentices. The world-class facilities are said to replicate real manufacturing environments. Each year, around 250 apprentices will be trained various skills such as milling, CNC machinery, welding and fabrication.
The new centre will also help tackle the increasing skills challenges that face older workers, by providing experienced employees with development training designed ensure that they are equipped with the right skills for the future demands of modern engineering and manufacturing.
According to EEF, the UK is the world’s 8th largest manufacturer. The British manufacturing sector currently employs 2.6 million people and accounts for 11% of GDP. The new Midland centre will play a crucial role in the development of new employees, helping the industry to continue to grow. EEF research shows that the importance of training apprentices is being increasingly recognised by businesses in the manufacture ring sector, as there is a currently a skills gap in the industry. Six in ten manufacturers have taken on an engineering and manufacturing apprentice in the last year and over two-thirds of manufacturers are expected to recruit apprentices in the next 12 months.
Local MP Khalid Mahmood, who is a former engineer, on opening the centre said: “This is a fantastic project, and a wonderful opportunity to get young people into engineering. This ambitious initiative is exactly the type of investment in skills this city needs.”
Chief executive at EEF, Terry Scuoler, commented: “Young people are the future of manufacturing – their skills and talents are the lifeblood that allows British businesses to develop and grow. However, this lifeblood is still only trickling through when we need a strong and steady flow.
“This centre is an important step in encouraging youngsters into our sector so that we can start to close the skills gap. But apprenticeships aren’t just a ‘win’ for industry, they’re a ‘win’ for young people too – offering an opportunity to kick-start an exciting and rewarding career in a vibrant and dynamic sector. The more who take up this opportunity, the better it will be for manufacturing and the wider economy.”