The Manufacturing Institute

£2.4m support programme for North West manufacturers

17 October 2012

Small and medium sized manufacturers across the North West are set to benefit from a new business support programme, which will create or safeguard 1,000 jobs and add £10 million to the regional economy.

The three-year programme, made possible through a £2.4 million investment from The Manufacturing Institute and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will develop the skills of 900 manufacturers through leadership and management masterclasses and company-specific coaching. This includes Dragons’ Den-style sessions where leading manufacturing figures and entrepreneurs will provide expert guidance on development and growth opportunities.

The programme aims to tackle the continuing loss of skills within the manufacturing sector, combined with a shortage of skilled workers, two of the largest threats for future manufacturing in the UK.

Unlike traditional training, the programme aims to take knowledge directly to manufacturers by delivering the masterclasses and coaching on-site within manufacturing operations. A web-based forum will also be developed for manufacturers to share knowledge with each other.

Julie Madigan, Chief Executive Officer at The Manufacturing Institute, said:

“With an estimated 587,000 workers set to retire from manufacturing over the next decade, there is an urgent need to drive up skills levels to replace the expertise that the sector will lose. We’re also seeing a growing trend towards technical and professional skill levels and yet smaller businesses often lack the resources and knowledge needed to take these forward. Through skills development, individual coaching and bespoke support, this programme aims to tackle these issues head on and maximise smaller manufacturers’ chances of success.”   

Sir Howard Bernstein, Vice Chair of the North West European Regional Development Fund Local Management Committee, said;

“By supporting and strengthening the performance of businesses within such a key sector, The Manufacturing Institute will, through this project, boost local economies and local growth. This project is an excellent example of what we are trying to achieve with ERDF in the North West and we are extremely pleased to be contributing.”

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