UKCES gives manufacturers a skills boost

Posted on 27 Aug 2015 by The Manufacturer

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has chosen five organisations to test new ways to develop innovation skills in the manufacturing sector.

Each will run a trial programme expected to create valuable learning that can be shared across the sector – with co-investment from UKCES of up to £150,000.

Projects are based in Belfast; Cardiff; Glasgow; Swansea, and Lancashire. Each will test skills development in their workplaces as part of the UK Futures Programme, a series of learning programmes aiming to address specific workplace skills needs.

The successful organisations include:

  • BAE Systems Maritime Navel Ships
  • Swansea University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • BAE Systems (Operations)
  • Northern Ireland Polymer Association

UKCES Commissioner and leader of the competition, Paul McKelvie OBE commeted: “I’m delighted to announce the successful applicants of our Skills for Innovation in Manufacturing competition.

“My team and I were impressed with the fresh thinking on display in these five projects, and we are excited to see what we can learn from their achievements.”

UK manufacturing is identified as highly productive and a key sector for exports, and it is said this competition seeks to explore new ways of developing skills and practices needed in order to maximise the value of innovation.

McKelvie added:“Innovation is vital for our national prosperity. It has a critical role in productivity and job creation, and nowhere is this true more than the manufacturing sector.

“It’s vital that that we learn how manufacturing firms can optimise their workplaces and processes to take best advantage of their high-skilled, highly productive workers.

The UK Futures Programme is a series of learning programmes that target specific emerging or persistent workforce development problems.

This round invited employer-led proposals from businesses and other organisations in the manufacturing sector to run initiatives that focus on skills to manage the innovation process and exploit innovative products or services for commercial value until summer 2016.