A plan to help plug the region’s skills gap in advanced manufacturing and engineering (AME) and get more local people working in the sector has been launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) at Walsall College.
The West Midlands Regional Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Training Plan sets out how the WMCA intends to address the local recruitment shortfall, improve productivity and drive further growth by working with colleges, universities, and training providers to improve the range of sector-specific training available, and the flexibility of how it is delivered.
It also aims to get more existing employees trained up and qualified so they can improve their pay and career prospects, and encourage businesses to get involved in the drive to make the West Midlands a net zero region by helping to shape future skills training in line with the evolving environmental and technology needs of the sector.
The West Midlands Regional Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Training Plan was launched at the college’s Digital Engineering Skills Centre (DESC) by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair. He toured the college’s engineering and Light Electric Alternative Fuel (LEAF) workshops, meeting students on T Level and vocational engineering and construction courses.
The Mayor said: “Engineering and manufacturing remain real strong suits for us here in the West Midlands and represent important sectors of our region’s economy. Handled correctly, these sectors still have tremendous growth potential provided we continue to closely collaborate with – and meet the needs of – local employers in the months and years ahead.
“That’s why it was great to visit Walsall College and meet with some of their young people who are already benefitting from the high-quality training being provided here in our region.
“I’m looking forward to opening up this training to many more local people, creating a pipeline of new talent and preparing our existing workforce for the future – all of which will help to change lives for the better and improve quality of life for local residents.”
As part of the new West Midlands Regional Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Training Plan, a range of new subject courses will be delivered, including in areas such as automotive engineering, food manufacturing, aerospace engineering and manufacturing, pharmaceutical science, electro-mechanical engineering, railway engineering, fabrication and welding, materials science and engineering, and metallurgy.