£3m training hub to plug Shropshire "skills gap"

£3m training hub to plug Shropshire "skills gap"

Details were unveiled for the Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) to more than 100 local businesses and stakeholders at its launch event.

The MCMT, which is led by a consortium of Classic Motor Cars, Grainger & Worrall, Salop Design & Engineering and training provider In-Comm, will provide an environment for individuals to learn from engineering experts on the latest technology – all geared towards giving them opportunities to apply the newly learned skills in real life manufacturing situations.

The training facility has received £1.9m of funding from the Marches LEP to bring the concept into reality, with £1.1m of private funding already pledged by the consortium.

Additional sponsorship and business engagement will look to bring the budget to over £4m.

The MCMT has pledged to help 2020 learners between now and 2020 and this will largely involve developing apprentices in advanced manufacturing and engineering, giving employers a strong pool of skills to tap into as they continue to compete globally.

Matthew Snelson, director of Grainger & Worrall and managing director of the Centre: “This is one of the most exciting developments seen in manufacturing training provision in the area for many years .

“We believe the MCMT is critical to closing the skills gap for Shropshire businesses, but we are under no illusions that we will need the rest of local industry, education and training to play their part.

“There are also plenty of opportunities for businesses to sponsor different learning zones or donate equipment and machinery our learners can train on.”

Supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, work will start on fitting out the 36,000 sq ft building on the Stanmore Industrial Estate in January, with plans in place to create dedicated fabrication, foundry, lathe, metrology, milling, robotics and vehicle trimming sections, as well as a specialist CNC Zone and spray booth/mixing capabilities.

Gareth Jones, managing director of In-Comm, said: “There is a lot of work ahead to equip the centre and build a pipeline of learners who want to be part of something new and exciting.

“There is a lot of engagement planned with Shropshire schools and colleges to get young people thinking about engineering and manufacturing as a career and, it is important to stress, that the MCMT is open to all employers in the area.”

Graham Wynn OBE, chairman of the Marches LEP, added: “Plugging the skills gaps that currently exist will mean that businesses here will be able to grow and thrive.

“That means more investment and more jobs, which can only have a positive impact on the economic prosperity of our county.”



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