Low Carbon High Skills

Posted on 28 Sep 2010 by The Manufacturer

The Manufacturing Advisory Service launches a new skills initiative to help manufacturers in the South West benefit from low carbon business opportunities.

MAS South West (MAS-SW) is intiating a new wave in its strategy to help businesses in the region understand the implications of the UKs move towards a low carbon economy. The MAS-SW initiative, Manufacturing the Future, was prompted by a MAS bartometer test which showed that 79% of regional manufacturers felt the low carbon economy would have no impact on their business.

The new wave of the Manufacturing the Future Initiative, Low Carbon High Skills, will help to further aid companies who have now chosen to play a part in the development of UK low carbon capabilities boosting their competitive potential and providing role models to other companies in the region.

Starting this October MAS-SW will be providing funding for 10 companies to identify and tackle skills gaps in their organisations which might act as barriers to low carbon excellence. The project will be co-ordinated by Universities South West in conjunction with MAS-SW, and will be delivered with assistance from regional partners RegenSW, Energy and Utility Skills, Regional Employment and Skills Partnership (SWRESP), the Association of Colleges and the region’s Further Education Colleges and universities.

Helping manufacturers to realise the many different fronts on which they can engage with the low carbon economy this project will develop skills for competition in a range of emerging markets including the renewables sector, electric vehicles, low carbon building, re-used, re-manufactured and re-furbished products, and low carbon design, processes and products.

Simon Howes, business development director for MAS-SW said: “In the UK alone, there is an emerging low carbon market worth more than £107 bn. Sales of low carbon and environmental goods and services in the South West region in 2007 to 2008 were valued at £8.7billion and there are around 4,200 South West companies engaged in the sector, employing 74,000 people. The South West accounts for eight per cent of the total UK market value of sectors, of which £2.1bn comes from the environmental sector, the renewable energy sector makes up £2.1bn, and the emerging low carbon sector accounts for £4.25billion. Much of this opportunity is based on products and services manufacturers can provide. Offering support and advice on this area is a key focus for MAS-SW.”

Tailored to the strategic needs of each business the Low Carbon High Skills development agenda will provide individual expert advice to participating manufacturers. Some of the first organisation to come on board with the new programme include a sustainable timber frame manufacturer, a heat pump manufacturer, a printing company wanting to look into more low carbon processes, a hybrid vehicle manufacturer and a remanufacturer (paper and car recycling).