Manufacturing technologies: Management material

Posted on 6 Feb 2013 by The Manufacturer

Does a lack of management skills and capability show up among your apprentices and home grown talent as their responsibilities grow? If so MTA and AMRC’s new apprenticeship pathway will be of interest.

The Manufacturing Technologies Association and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre have teamed up and devised a new apprenticeship pathway which they believe will answer a growing need for the early development of management skills alongside engineering expertise.

Graham Dewhurst, director general of MTA
Graham Dewhurst, director general of MTA

“A huge number of management roles in engineering-based manufacturing now require skill sets in both engineering and commerce” says Graham Dewhurst, director general of MTA. “These skills are increasingly needed by more junior employees within manufacturing organisations who are expected to take on higher levels of responsibility.”

According to Mr Dewhurst, the growing requirement for early stage management capability is linked, in part, to the growth of manufacturing services which, as Festo’s Gary whiles identifies on p40 cause points of customer contact and management in a business to proliferate.

“The trend over the last decade or so for manufacturers to broaden their offering to embrace customer support solutions has created new opportunities that could benefit the UK’s advanced manufacturing sector,” said Dewhurst. “In this context the apprenticeship framework that is being developed will seek to equip the new generation entering advanced engineering with the skills that they will require.”


The need for better development of managers and management skills that MTA and AMRC are working to address is corroborated by a report published by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills in July last year. The report, Leadership & Management in the UK – The Key to Sustainable Growth, identified that:

  • Ineffective management is estimated to be costing UK businesses over £19billion per year in lost working hours.
  • 43% of UK managers rate their own line manager as ineffective – and only one in five are qualified
  • 72% of organisations in England reported a deficit of management and leadership skills in 2012. This deficit is contributing to our productivity gap with countries like the US, Germany and Japan.
  • Incompetence or bad management of company directors causes 56 % of corporate failures The report also said that best-practice management development can result in a 23% increase in organisational performance.

Launching the pathway

MTA and AMRC’s new apprenticeship pathway will be launched at AMRC’s Rotherham, Sheffield site on February 8 at the Future Aerospace Manufacturing Seminar.

Speakers at this half day seminar will include Dr Gareth Williams, vice president – research and technology business development and partnerships at Airbus. Presentations and discussion at the seminar will focus on sector requirements for emerging technologies in the metals and composites sectors.

The structure and purpose of the new MTA-AMRC apprenticeship pathway will be explained in detail to delegates at this event.

In brief however, MTA has said the first year of the pathway will focus on engineering skills (performing engineering operations and engineering extension classes) while also introducing elements of business awareness and a foreign language.

First year training will initially be delivered largely on-site at AMRC’s impressive hi-tech manufacturing campus. An inspiring location for ambitious young engineers.

The second and third years of the apprenticeship would build on engineering skills with a level 3 technical certificate but also include a level 3 NVQ in one of a range of business disciplines, including sales – allowing for that all-important growth in customer support services.

Further study of foreign languages as well as topics such as import and export law, regulation and international business culture are designed to develop a fully rounded engineer and business professional, fit for work in globalised markets.

For more information about this new apprenticeship pathway and its launch at the Future Aerospace Manufacturing Seminar on February 8 go here: or scan the QR code.