Published: September 20th, 2016
Nearly 2,500 apprenticeships could be created in the Marches as part of a £2.8m project which will see employers take the lead in developing workforce skills.
The Marches LEP is in the final stages of negotiations with three successful bidders to develop Advanced Manufacturing Hubs – regional training centres which would support employers in parts of the region where there is limited access to workforce training.
The largest contract, at more than £1.9m, is a project led by four partners, Shropshire employers Grainger & Worrall, Classic Motor Cars Ltd and Salop Design & Engineering and training specialist In-Comm Training.
The consortium intends to develop the Marches Institute of Manufacturing and Technology which will deliver training in Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury and aims to create 1,913 apprenticeships.
It would also support 416 businesses and nearly 1,000 bite-sized training courses.
Graham Wynn, Chairman of the Marches LEP, said: "Additional capital investment is needed to support the manufacturing sector to develop their skills base, equipping them to maximise future opportunities.
"I am delighted that manufacturing employers have responded to our call for them to take the lead in developing how the skills needs of their workforce can be addressed.
"As a result, we are in the final throes of negotiations to award three contracts to consortiums with numerous private sector employers.
"The first hub to be developed will be at a site in Bridgnorth, and we expect to be able to announce details of the other two training hubs in the coming weeks."
Matthew Snelson, Director at Grainger and Worrall Ltd, said: "We are delighted and excited to be part of the consortium of companies who are forming the Marches Institute of Manufacturing and Technology.
"Our objective is to develop engineers of the future, both as apprentices and in our existing workforces. The Institute will support companies large and small across our region, to become more productive, more competitive, and support sustainable growth".
The training centres are due to open in 2017. Funding for the project was awarded to the LEP via its initial Growth Deal for capital skills projects.
Growth Deals are awarded to LEPs through a competitive bidding process to fund the delivery of projects to boost the local economy.