New MD at Coventry’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre

David Grailey, the new MD of the AMTC
DavidGrailey

One of the UK’s leading figures in vocational and technical learning has been appointed as managing director of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre.

David Grailey has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK education and skills sector. He will take on the role of leading the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) – based on the Manufacturing Technology Centre campus in Coventry – as it continues to fortify the UK’s manufacturing sector with the next generation of future-proofed engineers and technicians.

For the last 20 years David Grailey has led two commercially successful qualification businesses. For the last 13 years he was chief executive of NCFE, one of the UK’s largest awarding bodies for vocational, technical and academic qualifications.

While at Newcastle upon Tyne-based NCFE he and his team grew the number of student registrations from 75,000 to more than 616,000. The business was listed in The Times Top 100 Companies to Work For nine times, while significantly increasing profits and turnover. He led the significant investment into setting up an apprenticeship End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) which delivered more than 7,500 assessments in its first full year in operation.

Before this, David Grailey was chief executive of Food & Drink Qualifications, the qualifications organisation for the food and drink manufacturing sector. Previously he held a number of education and skills appointments, including at University College Salford. A former butchery apprentice himself, he went on to obtain an MSc from Cranfield University.

He said, “I am delighted to be joining the AMTC team and the wider MTC team. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to build on their success and reputation and find new and innovative ways of reaching greater heights. Leading and growing an important educational business such as the AMTC is a great opportunity to help more apprentices and existing manufacturers achieve higher skill levels, equipping them to be trailblazing for UK manufacturing and impacting on our global competitiveness.”

The AMTC is making a significant contribution towards closing the skills gap that threatens the UK’s manufacturing sector, having trained hundreds of apprentices since 2017.

This year, the centre will recruit hundreds of new apprentices on behalf of some of the UK’s top engineering and manufacturing businesses, with training starting in September. As well as the foundational engineering skills they will need to succeed today, the apprentices are exposed to the latest technical innovations in future skills areas such as intelligent automation, metrology and advanced manufacturing. They develop their skills through a combination of formalised in-centre training and on-the-job training as they work onsite for their employers.

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.