The head of a new £3m training hub has challenged employers to help him create a ‘Marches Engineering Powerhouse’.
Matt Snelson, the newly appointed managing director of the Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT), is urging firms in Shropshire to take advantage of the new 36,000 sq ft facility in Bridgnorth and support its vision to reach ‘2020 learners by 2020’.
As a manufacturing and engineering graduate, Snelson believes that industry has to stop ‘cannibalising’ the skills pool and instead invest in developing the next generation of engineers to help reverse local skills shortages.
In addition to accessing the courses, the MCMT is also looking for businesses to sponsor different zones within the centre, which is due to launch in August 2017.
Snelson is leading the consortium that includes partners Grainger & Worrall, Classic Motor Cars, Salop Design & Engineering and In-Comm Training.
He said: “The Marches LEP has listened to our requests for an employer-led solution to close the skills gap and now it’s time for business leaders to step forward and shape the offer so that we can equip young people and existing employees with the skills they need to deliver an immediate positive impact for their companies.
“We want manufacturers to tell us the skills they require, we want them to invest in apprentices and use the MCMT to train them and, importantly, we need them to dig deep and support us with sponsorship.”
The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology was awarded £1.9m of Growth Deal funding from the Marches LEP to bring the concept into reality, with £1.1m of private funding already pledged by the consortium.
It will look to support 2020 learners between now and 2020 and this will largely involve developing apprentices in advanced manufacturing and engineering.
In addition to this, there will also be capacity to work with 400 companies on developing existing manufacturing professionals.