25 Jul 2024


HVM Catapult leads project to tackle the UK’s skills gap

The HVM Catapult will lead the pilot project to develop courses to upskill employees in the manufacturing and engineering sectors

The UK Department for Education has appointed the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM Catapult) to lead a project to develop high-quality modular courses aimed at upskilling employees to help address skills gaps in sectors such as manufacturing and engineering.

In January 2021, the government announced its Skills for Jobs White Paper which set out plans to transform the future of further and technical education in England. This included looking at how to support more people to study more flexibly and to gain the skills that employers will need in the future.

Starting this month, the pilot scheme will use the technological and industrial know-how of the HVM Catapult to understand the future skills needed for UK manufacturing. Working with Institutes of Technology (IoT) which collaborate between employers, universities, and colleges, the HVM Catapult will develop training content, focusing on new and emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and composite materials. The pilot will run from March to December 2021 with a potential rollout thereafter on a national scale.

To help to deliver the project and increase sector-wide involvement in the project, the HVM Catapult will work with the employer-led engineering skills body, Enginuity.

“Investment in cutting-edge skills is at the heart of our plan to reform technical education, supporting people to get the skills our economy needs as we build back better from the pandemic,” says education secretary, Gavin Williamson. “This project will address the skills needed to level up productivity and drive economic growth across the country.

“I am delighted that this collaboration with the HVM Catapult, Institutes of Technology and Enginuity will deliver the skills needed in manufacturing both now and in the future and pave the way to ensure employers have access to the highly quality-talent pipeline they will need to thrive,” he adds.

IoTs offer higher technical Stem education and training (mainly at Levels 4 and 5) in sectors such as digital, construction, advanced manufacturing and engineering. They will deliver these courses to enable UK businesses of any size to ensure that their workforces are equipped with the skills of tomorrow and able to exploit emerging technologies better.

The HVM Catapult’s CEO, Dick Elsy, points out: “There are longstanding skills issues that need addressing to ensure the continued global competitiveness of UK manufacturing. By using the HVM Catapult’s knowledge of cutting-edge innovation to build training for the manufacturing workforce, the Emerging Skills Project has the potential to transform the sector.”

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