Nikki Duncan
Posted on 17 Jun 2015

Investing in Manufacturing

Michelmores Employment Partner Nikki Duncan speaks to Sharron Robbie, Director of Marketing, Corporate Relations & Enterprise at City College Plymouth about Investing in Manufacturing. Here is what she had to say...

The manufacturing sector in and around Plymouth is recognised as a priority growth sector, one that accounts for nearly 13 per cent of the total economy in Plymouth, and a similar proportion of the labour market. An important part of the UK’s economy, the manufacturing sector plays a critical role within the City, and is set to receive a boost with recent City developments, including the announcement of the new Enterprise Zone at South Yard in Devonport.

With the industry contributing so much to the local economy, ensuring a steady flow of skilled workers to support the sector is vital. City College Plymouth works closely with a wide range of employers to ensure that there is access to appropriate training for manufacturing companies and those looking to enter the sector.  

Sharron Robbie, Director of Marketing, Corporate Relations & Enterprise at City College Plymouth, said:

“It is essential that the College is able to support existing and future regeneration projects and contribute to the wider skills needs of the City and region. This, in turn, supports the region’s strategies for growth and prosperity by delivering employer-driven provision, creating job-ready students and proactively promoting wealth creation through embedding enterprise and employability in everything that we do.”

The College trains people in the key skills they need to succeed in the manufacturing sector. Through traineeships, Apprenticeships and full or part-time courses, learners are supported through their training by expert staff with a wealth of industry knowledge. The College’s Apprenticeship provision was graded ‘outstanding’ in their last Ofsted report and covers a broad range of areas from engineering to construction.

Manufacturing businesses operating in the South West acknowledge the value of training individuals to support this growth sector and the College works closely with leading manufacturers including, Rittal-CSM, Kawasaki, BD and the Barden Corporation to train students and apprentices in the key skills employers need. The College’s state-of-the-art Engineering Centre offers students the opportunity to work in real-life workshop environments that truly represent the manufacturing industry. The industry-standard equipment that students use ensures that they learn their practical skills on equipment and machinery that they will find in the workplace; therefore, College students leave fully trained and work-ready.

The College also collaborates with manufacturing companies in the development of its curriculum through a range of Employer Advisory Boards. Boards, which are comprised of industry professionals, support the College in developing and delivering training and skills, which are perfectly aligned to the sector. 

Capturing and holding young people’s interest in manufacturing related subjects from an early age is key to increasing the number of skilled workers to meet the local demand for new workers. To increase the opportunities for young people to engage in manufacturing, City College are investing in a £13million Regional Centre of Excellence for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), due to open at the College’s Kings Road campus in Plymouth in September 2017.

The Centre will help to drive the region’s productivity and economy by stimulating interest in STEM subjects amongst potential students, , those who are just entering the labour market and those wanting to up-skill or retrain. It will also provide support for higher-paid STEM and manufacturing jobs in the area, thus retaining and maximising Plymouth’s talented workforce.

City College Plymouth’s commitment to investing and supporting the future of the industry will help ensure that Britain’s Ocean City is recognised as a world leader in manufacturing.