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Manufacturing Skills Academy launches pandemic recovery package

New scheme will support Scottish manufacturers to upskill their workforce and source additional funding for innovation

Posted on 23 Dec 2021 and read 1441 times
Manufacturing Skills Academy launches pandemic recovery packageThe National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s Manufacturing Skills Academy (MSA), has launched a new scheme that supports manufacturing firms with the upskilling of their workforces, as well as improving their knowledge of funding opportunities.

As part of the campaign, the MSA will help manufacturers take advantage of new market opportunities as Scotland continues its Covid-19 response and recovery. By highlighting the skills required for emerging manufacturing sectors, including roles within green sectors, the team will help employers and employees upskill and diversify while working to future-proof businesses so that jobs exist after the immediate Covid-19 recovery phase.

The initiative, which is part of the funding awarded to National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) earlier this year from the Scottish Government’s £20 million National Transition Training Fund (NTTF), will also see the wider NMIS Group, which is operated by the University of Strathclyde, and located within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS), encourage Scottish manufacturing businesses to use available opportunities for innovation, mainly through the UK and Scottish Government R&D funding schemes, and support manufacturers and associated supply chain partners of all sizes in identifying the best solution for them.

Stewart McKinlay, NMIS skills director, said: “Arriving at a critical time for Scottish manufacturers, this recovery package will allow the MSA to facilitate meaningful connections with businesses across the country and support them as we emerge from an unprecedented period of crisis. Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the way we do business, but it has also supercharged certain industries, presenting enormous opportunities for Scottish manufacturers.

“There will most certainly be an element of education and re-skilling required for workforces. Via this campaign we aim to guide people through training to ultimately help career progression. Not only will this enable businesses in the manufacturing community to operate more efficiently in new markets, but it will also help future-proof those same businesses by providing the knowledge and skillset required to thrive in these new environments.”

Earlier this year, NMIS announced a STEM graduate training programme funded by the NTTF, aimed at helping people struggling to find work due to the economic impact of the pandemic to secure employment.

The pilot offered 30 graduates the opportunity to receive on-the-job training and build in-demand skills relevant to the worlds of digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering over six months. Owing to the success of the initiative, it has now re-opened its online application process and will be offering up to 50 training opportunities to recent university and college graduates in early 2022.

One company that engaged with the scheme earlier in the year is Renewable Parts. General manager of refurbishment engineering, Michael Forbes said: “The NTTF funding helped this business during a period of rapid growth to bring in more good people by allowing them experience on the job, at the same time getting a feel for the fit between the business and the graduate. This scheme to some extent de-risked the recruitment process and allowed the business to continue to operate at full capacity, with much less time spent on the on boarding process.”

“The graduates were highly motivated, and keen to impress, and the business had the opportunity to fill roles that might for a small business have been seen as areas for longer-term growth. We are delighted to say that this programme has resulted in the business being able to offer long-term employment to individuals we would never have come across otherwise.”

More information on the new scheme can be found on the website (www.nmis.scot/national-transition-training-fund).