Billions wasted on training according to AME

Posted on 2 Nov 2015 by Fred Tongue

Industry is wasting billions every year on ineffective training according to bosses behind the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME).

CEO and chairman of Unipart Group, John Neill – along with John Latham of Coventry University – made the announcement on the one-year anniversary of the UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’, a joint training venture between Unipart and the university to encourage the sector to take a more “down to earth” approach.

More than 100 delegates will visit the advanced manufacturing hub where they will hear how £42.9bn (* UK Commission for Employment and Skills National Employers Skills Survey (NESS) 2013) of investment is spent on training and development, but over 145,000 jobs are left unfilled because candidate don’t have the required skills.

Neill and Latham believe AME is offering a viable solution with more than 60 young people undergoing courses that will mean they are industry ready by the time they graduate.

Latham commented: “The original vision was to find a different way of educating engineering and manufacturing graduates so that when they finished their learning they could enter employment and make an immediate positive impact.

“We were already working with Unipart and both of us shared a passion to meet the growing skills gap. The result was a coming together of minds and investment in shaping the UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’, a place where young engineers could learn on ‘live’ manufacturing projects and from some of the best lecturers and engineers in the country.

“This ensures that the theory is applied into practice pretty much every day of their course and allows them to learn the softer skills of teamwork, project management and how to present ideas clearly.”

Neill continued: “Skills was definitely the starting focus, but this quickly accelerated to look at how we could develop a world class R&D centre that focused on exploring new technologies for existing and new clients in automotive, aerospace, rail and renewables.

Ian Wilson teaching AME students how to use the latest robots on the shop floor.
Ian Wilson teaching AME students how to use the latest robots on the shop floor.

“All our solutions will meet an immediate or future customer need. We believe AME offers the opportunity for the UK to improve productivity by translating the knowledge and problem solving capabilities of our people into real competitive advantage.”

Backed by funding from HEFCE, more than £32m and thousands of hours have been spent on AME – a 1,700 sqm hub built on Unipart’s manufacturing site in Coventry.

Director of AME, Professor Carl Perrin concluded: “This showcase event was the first time we have been able to open our doors to show industry, academia and Government an innovative, but ‘down to earth’ approach to bridging the skills and productivity gap.

“The first 12 months have proved we have found a model that works and I believe there is potential to develop future AMEs across the country. Why stop at one?”