Engineering and Manufacturing plan
We want to help West Midlands manufacturing and engineering professionals grow. You'll be thrilled to know about the recently launched West Midlands Regional Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Training Plan. The sector is a crucial contributor to the region's economy, valued at over £16 billion and providing 200,000 jobs. However, with 7,000 job vacancies now available, there is a need to minimise the skills gap and get more local people working in the sector.
The plan outlines the West Midlands Combined Authority's (WMCA) strategy to address the shortfall, enhance productivity, and drive growth. By partnering with colleges, universities, and training providers, we aim to improve the range of sector-specific training available and make it more flexible in delivery. The goal is to get existing employees trained up, qualified and help them improve their pay and career prospects. Additionally, the WMCA is encouraging businesses to get involved and help shape future skills training to meet the evolving environmental and technology needs of the sector.
To achieve these goals, the WMCA will be increasing the proportion of its devolved Adult Education budget for training and qualifications by £1.4 million. Last year, they spent £7.2 million with nearly 30 providers delivering training, and supported nearly 300 apprentices in engineering through the WMCA's Apprenticeship Levy scheme.
As part of this new training plan, a range of new subject courses will be offered, including automotive engineering, food manufacturing, aerospace engineering and manufacturing, pharmaceutical science, electro-mechanical engineering, railway engineering, fabrication and welding, materials science and engineering, and metallurgy. This plan aligns with the WMCA's Plan for Growth, which focuses on eight clusters of interconnecting businesses across different sectors, working together to drive inclusive growth in critical sectors vital to the region's future success and prosperity.
In the sector, there's a focus on electric light vehicles and batteries, aerospace, future housing, and low carbon utilities linked to the region's #WM2041 net zero ambition.
The Plan for Growth sets out the potential for 16,000 new jobs in the manufacturing and engineering industry, adding a further £1 billion to the economy.