WMG Skills Centre launched to bridge the technical skills gap

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Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), part of Warwick University, has launch The WMG Skills Centre. to offer businesses a range of innovative short courses which will equip workforces with the latest technical skills.

A Government white paper released in 2021 ‘Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth’, saw the then Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson CBE MP stating that we (the UK) do not have enough technicians, engineers or health and social care professionals. Redressing this will be critical to improving our productivity and international competitiveness.

WMG, at the University of Warwick, has been bridging the gap between academia and industry, driving innovation in science, technology, engineering and skills. The WMG Skills Centre is launching with courses covering digital manufacturing, energy systems, intelligent vehicles and manufacturing. Further courses will be added during the year to support the skills needs of business and industry.

All of the courses range from half-day workshops to five-day courses providing short, sharp, interventions to support skills growth. The first courses to be launched are Data-Driven Smart ManufacturingDemystifying Digital TwinsElectric Drivetrain SchoolIntelligent Connected Automated Mobility (ICAM) School, Industry 4.0 Integration and ImplementationManufacturing Awareness and Battery School.

Margot James, Executive Chair of WMG, University of Warwick, said: “WMG has worked tirelessly over the last 40 years to bridge the gap between research and industry, preparing our students from our academies, degree apprenticeships and post-graduate courses to be equipped with the skills to improve Britain’s workforce.

“The new WMG Skills Centre will allow everyone access to the knowledge they need to succeed, and help our industry partners, region and country to create a digital and sustainable economy of the future.”

Dr Benjamin Silverstone, Associate Professor, Head of WMG Skills Centre added: “Change for business has never been more rapid and the need to adapt and evolve to meet current and future needs is critical to ensure survival. The courses offered by the WMG Skills Centre build on our strong history of delivering skills innovation to industry and will up-skill, re-skill and new-skill workforces across the country to ensure that they are resilient and able to thrive. “

Although the WMG Skills Centre is new, it has been created based on the success of courses that have previously been run by WMG, such as The Battery School.

Dr Graham Hoare, President of Global Operations at Britishvolt who attended the course in 2021 said: “I have worked in the powertrain divisions of blue-chip car companies such as Ford, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover in the past. The course here at WMG effectively allows people like me, who have got good mechanical experience, to really understand and appreciate battery technology and enable us to lead teams of battery scientists in the future. The two days on the Battery School course were fundamental to my understanding about battery technology and really equipped me to be able to jump into this important world very efficiently.

“Batteries are at the heart of this industrial transformation, so being here, at WMG and learning and seeing with my own eyes how that can be applied really was transformational. I feel so much more equipped for the challenge ahead.”