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A £2.4m financial boost ringfenced for training and skills development will support employed people working in the manufacturing and construction industries.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has kick-started the new year by awarding Instep and North West Skills Academy new contracts to deliver vital training that will combat skills shortages identified by employers in the city-region.

Funded by the European Social Fund as part of GMCA’s three-year Skills for Growth programme, all training offered will be free for individuals and businesses to access.

Instep UK has been awarded £1.2m to upskill those working in the manufacturing industry.

Training will focus on giving managers and aspiring managers the knowledge they need to move towards a person-led way of working.

Technical training will also be provided to staff who need to learn about the tools and techniques needed for improved activity, such as mapping production processes, problem solving and making workplaces more efficient – otherwise known as ‘lean’ manufacturing.

Instep UK, CEO, Andy Murphy said: “Manufacturing employs 10% of the working population in Greater Manchester, so it has a significant impact in the overall success of the sub-region.

“At a time when the labour market is challenged both through the availability of labour but also the absence impact of the pandemic, it is important that businesses develop strong leadership and management principles, as well as driving efficiency, effectiveness, and performance.

“We aim to provide opportunities for all and will actively engage with underrepresented groups in order to ensure a good supply of new talent and to close skills gaps forecast by the sector.

“We are very much looking forward to supporting GMCA, and Greater Manchester employers to deliver positive outcomes.”

North West Skills Academy, which is also delivering a digital course as part of Skills for Growth, has been awarded £1.2m to support the construction industry.

In particular courses will develop digital transformation, those in management roles and will encourage cross-trade upskilling so employees have more flexible abilities.

Sam Riley, CEO at North West Skills Academy said: “We are delighted to be leading this project on behalf of GMCA alongside our supply chain, SB Skills Solutions, Simian, The Growth Company, Cube HR, UK Skills Academy and The Construction Tutor.

“This commission is a step in the right direction for construction skills in Greater Manchester and we are committed to attracting new entrants to the market, particularly women, LGBTQ+ community and those from ethnic and minority backgrounds.

“We will do this with support from the Construction Skills Growth and Productivity Commission as well as The Building Equality Alliance, which drives LGBTQ+ inclusion in the field.

“This commission will also work in harmony with our Retrofit Skills Hub, providing construction businesses with a one stop shop for their skills needs.”

Construction and advanced manufacturing are both highlighted as key industries for Greater Manchester in the Local Industrial Strategy.

Robust engagement with employers in the two sectors has identified challenges including businesses – particularly small and medium enterprises (SME’s) – having a lack of funding and time to invest in workforce training and a lack of diversity.

By targeting priority groups including women in employment, low-paid and the ageing population, it is hoped that Skills for Growth will help to mitigate these challenges.

Skills for Growth – SME Support (delivered by The Growth Company on behalf of GMCA) is also on hand to provide a specialist consultation service to SME’s in the city-region, identifying how businesses can support their workforces to thrive in a way that suits their business needs.

For more information about SME Support, you can visit their website.

Alternatively, learn about Instep’s manufacturing opportunities or contact North West Skills Academy about their construction training.


Article Published: 27/01/2022 08:40 AM