Intensive skills programme to boost SME productivity

MTC Training, the training wing of the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre, has secured funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority to deliver a new training course that will improve the efficiency of manufacturing businesses across the region.

The Skills Bootcamp Manufacturing Efficiency programme, supported by Lloyds Bank, aims to help managers and leaders looking to upskill and optimise their organisation’s processes and output with its combination of face-to-face training, self-study and online and remote learning.

Participating businesses will also benefit from line walks facilitated by MTC’s Manufacturing Support Services consultancy experts, who will help delegates with the initial identification of inefficiencies within their workplace across business activity and technology, as well as continued guidance to enhance skills development through the programme.

During the 16-week programme, the delegates will build their skill-sets in management, leadership and analytics across eight areas:
Process improvement
Health and safety in the workplace
Workplace organisation
Visual management
Standard work and process monitoring
Problem solving
Continuous improvement and innovation.

The first 12 recruits will begin their free learning programme in September, with a further 36 joining the programme by the end of the year.

The opportunity follows the publication of the WMCA’s Local Skills Report last year.

Louise Phipps, senior delivery manager at the WMCA, said: “In the decade leading up to the pandemic, the West Midlands was the fastest growing region outside of London, but our report suggests skills shortages have led to one in four vacancies in the region being classed as ‘hard to fill’.

“We’re determined to help our small and medium enterprises fulfill those ‘hard to fill’ roles through the skills development of its talented employees, particularly where their busy schedules may not ordinarily allow them the chance to upskill.”

David Grailey, managing director of MTC Training, said: “Manufacturing businesses need to have leaders with vision and the right managerial skills to enable the adoption of new technologies across their entire operation. With strong leaders, businesses will be well-positioned to sustain competitive advantage for the long term, which presents additional benefits for the economy and our society.

“We’re delighted that the WMCA recognises the value in our programme. This is testament to MTC’s SME expertise and our ability to deliver quality training in world-class facilities. We look forward to welcoming the first cohort of trainees next month.”

Rebekah Taitt, regional development director at Lloyds Bank, said she recognises the importance of helping SMEs reach their potential.

She added: “SMEs are facing major succession challenges. At Lloyds, we know that investing in the future of our manufacturing industry will be essential to our region and the wider UK economy. That’s why we’re supporting MTC Training to offer the pilot of the programme free of charge, helping businesses overcome the financial challenges that come with taking key people out of the business for a period of time to develop their skills.”