Jake Berry MP visited the £4 million Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) to view how an employer-led solution to bridging the skills gap is promising to boost competitiveness within the region’s advanced manufacturing sector.
He praised the efforts of the Marches LEP and consortium partners Classic Motor Cars, Grainger & Worrall, Salop Design & Engineering and training provider In-Comm for bringing this ambitious vision to reality and offering a potential blueprint for other areas to follow.
MCMT, which has received £1.9 million of Government Growth Deal funding via the Marches LEP and financial support from the European Regional Development Fund and Shropshire Council, is promising to deliver ‘2020 learners by 2020’ through a combination of apprenticeships and specialist training to upskill existing staff.
The 36,000ft2 hub – located on the Stanmore Industrial Estate in Bridgnorth – will provide a high-tech environment for individuals to learn from engineering experts on the latest technology, all geared towards making them more industry-ready when they leave.
Jake Berry, Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse, said: "I was delighted to be one of the first to visit the Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology today to see this remarkable training facility.
“Made possible with government funding, MCMT is a fantastic example of the Marches LEP, local employers and a training provider working together to equip young people with the real life skills they will need to become the engineers of the future.”
Mr Berry received a guided tour of the MCMT during his visit, taking in dedicated fabrication, lathe, metrology, milling, robotics and vehicle trimming sections, as well as a specialist CNC Zone with more than £1 million of machines donated by Engineering Technology Group.
He also met with the first cohort of apprentices to talk about their initial experiences, their passion for engineering and manufacturing and how the centre will help them in their careers.