DECEMBER 2021 | 23
MIDLANDS MANUFACTURERS JOIN ‘ REVOLUTION ’
Over 50 of the Midlands ’ leading manufacturers met in Leicester in November to discuss the sector ’ s role in levelling up the UK . Boosting manufacturing has a key role in creating regional growth , reducing geographical inequality , leading to higher productivity and better wages for all .
The Midlands is the leading location for UK manufacturing , with 25,270 businesses and 555,820 existing jobs in the sector , equalling 12.5 % of total employment - a much higher percentage than the national average .
Key themes emerging from the conference included :
• The UK has been allowed to become too regionally unequal , in large part due to the decline of regional manufacturing
• Revolutionising manufacturing will bring growth , productivity and better jobs to regions like the Midlands , and also the whole country beyond London and the South East
The meeting was convened by Midlands Engine , Make UK and East Midlands Chamber , in partnership with leading UK think tank , The Centre for Social Justice , and builds on Midlands Engine research that showcases the vast strengths ( Midlands Engine Makes ) and potential ( Midlands Engine Manufacturing Opportunities ) of Midlands manufacturing . It is the first stage in developing new policies , due to be published in spring next year , to encourage government to promote and enhance manufacturing at the heart of the UK ’ s economic and social regeneration .
Sir John Peace , Chairman of the Midlands Engine , said :
“ Our region was the original global manufacturing pioneer , and we continue to lead the world . Together , we are identifying and acting on a wealth of opportunities for a new generation of Midlands makers and entrepreneurs , through our increasingly clean , advanced and technology-focused manufacturing .”
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP , Secretary of State for Levelling Up , Housing and Communities , said : “ The Midlands helped to power the first global Industrial Revolution and has remained the manufacturing heartland of the UK ever since . It is a leading light in innovation and ingenuity that drives our economy . With strengths in goods from cars and medicines to textiles and food , the Midlands Engine will help to power our mission to level up communities across the UK .”
Charlotte Horobin Regional Director , Midlands and East , Make UK said : “ Midlands manufacturing plays a wonderfully diverse and powerful part in UK industry . Nearly 600,000 people within our region work in our fabulous sector making things from pies to aerospace parts and everything in between . During the pandemic this has meant we can continue to put food and drink on our supermarket shelves , and our businesses have stepped up to provide ventilators for intensive care units and PPE for local hospitals . Manufacturing will continue to play a significant role in the region ’ s economy and will measurably contribute to our ability to bring about a post-pandemic recovery .”
www . midlandsengine . org
EPWIN WINDOW SYSTEMS SUPPORTING SKILLS BOOST ACROSS THE INDUSTRY
The shortage of skilled staff coming up through the ranks is widely recognised in the industry . It ’ s something that Epwin Window Systems is keen to tackle via its Connect digital platform . Gerald Allen , Marketing Manager at Epwin Window Systems , commented : “ We have partnered with specialist industry training provider T3 Training & Development to provide a wide range of qualifications , including the new standards , to help our customers upskill their staff and add value to their businesses .”
He added : “ We know the appetite for training is huge and we are in conversation with many customers that are keen to move forward with training .” One of the companies already taking advantage of the training offering is New Trade Windows of Bristol . The company has committed to nine Apprenticeships across Fabrication , Management , Team Leading and Customer Services . Dan Stone , Director at New Trade , said : “ Being able to access training via Epwin Window Systems ’ Connect platform is huge for us . It removes many of the barriers to getting high quality training and is helping us build a skilled , motivated workforce for the future .”
Gerald commented : “ As well as offering long-term benefits , it ’ s also important to point out there are numerous initiatives to fund the cost of training so it really is a win-win situation . For example , if you are an SME who doesn ’ t pay into the Apprenticeship Levy system then the government will fund 95 % of course costs and other government initiatives are also available subject to eligibility too .”
T3 Training & Development ’ s tutors have over 20 years ’ experience in training and development in the industry . Companies benefit from a Skill Scan analysis to identify the most effective qualifications for their workforce . The offering includes high quality , flexible , blended learning , comprehensive support resources , the exclusive T3 e-portfolio support resource and additional personal development .
Epwin Window Systems is committed to apprenticeship programmes throughout the business and Investment in People practices . In providing their customers with access to a high quality training offering , it ’ s showing its commitment to the future of the industry too .
www . epwinwindowsystems . co . uk