A shortage of skilled workers in the UK is consistently cited by industry as the biggest challenge to the ongoing growth and success of UK manufacturing. Data from the Engineering UK 2016 report shows that the annual shortfall of engineers and technicians has increased to 69,000 and that the UK requires 182,000 skilled engineers per year to 2022 to fill this skills gap.
The High Value Manufacturing Catapult works with industry and academia to develop and scale up the technologies of tomorrow. This gives the organisation a unique foresight into the skills challenges of a re-emerging and expanding manufacturing sector in the UK.
The HVM Catapult centres all work on ground-braking process and technology innovations that will become common place on the manufacturing shop floors of tomorrow. Industry will only fully exploit the potential of these innovations if there are enough UK engineers and technicians who fully understand the technology, its capability and its potential. Much of this ‘new knowledge’ comes from the learning that takes place as these new technologies progress from prototype to production proven concepts within our centres, long before industry has started implementing them.
The HVM Catapult centres work closely with their industry partners to provide structured training placements and apprenticeships that meet employers’ needs.
The AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham, for example, is a state-of-the-art facility offering the very best in practical and academic training. Working with employers, the centre identifies and provides the skills required that manufacturing companies need to compete globally, from apprenticeship through to doctorate and MBA level.
Sam Brookfield, one of the AMRC apprentices and winner of the 2016 Apprentice of the Year award, said: My highlights at the AMRC Training Centre range from expanding my knowledge, learning new skills such as turning and milling, and meeting people who have worked in different areas and engineering companies.
The Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Ansty, near Coventry, opened its doors in November 2015. The centre’s advanced technician apprentice programme offers a unique opportunity to develop a strong engineering expertise, giving young engineers the chance to build a career in an exciting, thriving and innovative environment.
To mark its 5 year anniversary, Secretary of State Sajid Javid joins HVM Catapult at its reception at the House of Commons Churchill room on 28 June from 4pm to 6pm. Several apprentices from the HVM Catapult Centres will be at the event to talk about their experiences.