Government working with leading engineering firms to create pathway to specialist skills

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Written by Seun Robert-Edomi on 2 March 2015 in News

The Improving Engineering Careers project is a part of the government’s response to the November 2013 Perkins Review of Engineering Skills, which noted the huge positive impact an increasing base of engineers would have on the UK economy

The government has announced £5.6 million of funding for six projects creating new specialist skills and careers in the engineering industry.

The projects are led by a range of businesses, from local Cheshire employer Tiger Trailers to major international carmaker Nissan. It will support individual skills projects in each business to help them meet the challenges and growth opportunities they see in the future and increase their workforces in the UK.

The six companies were selected under the government’s Employer Ownership of Skills Fund, which helps UK engineering employers address skills shortages. The government is providing £2.8 million, matched by an equal cash contribution from employers.

The projects are:

·         global carmaker Nissan, to support the company in creating the skills base needed to build its next generation of luxury Infiniti model in the UK, supporting 1,742 staff

·         Hyde Group, to train new generations of specialist engineers servicing automated manufacturing machines

·         supporting a Gloucester-based surface engineering firm, Poeton, to establish a purpose-designed training centre to help it meet skills shortages in high technology coatings supplied to the aerospace, general engineering, renewable and nuclear sectors

·         helping built environment specialist BRE replicate the skills provision of its apprentice and graduate schemes to offer all of its staff the specialist skills needed to advance their careers

·         supporting start-up firm Tiger Trailers to develop 100 new posts in commercial trailer and vehicle body manufacturing

·         helping Lowri Beck’s metering and data service team to open two new training centres to meet the demand for new smart meter engineers as the UK replaces 53 million gas and electricity meters by 2020

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s vice president of UK Manufacturing, said: “The start of production for Infiniti later this year will be a major milestone for Sunderland. It will be the first new car brand to be manufactured on this scale in the UK for 23 years and represents a major investment in both our people and facilities.

“We welcome the support of the Employee Ownership of Skills Fund in developing the skills of our workforce. This will be critical in ensuring the successful launch of a car that will be exported to North America and China, the first time the plant has built vehicles for these markets.”


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