£2m mentoring help for makers

SKILLS: Julie Madigan from the Manufacturing Institute
SKILLS: Julie Madigan from the Manufacturing Institute
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FYLDE coast firms are being urged to get a share of a £2.4m Dragon’s Den style business support programme.

Aimed at small and medium sized businesses, its goal is to create or safeguard 1,000 jobs and add £10m to the region’s economy.

The money is to be used to develop the skills of 900 manufacturers through leadership and management masterclasses and company-specific coaching.

This includes Dragons’ Den-style sessions where leading manufacturing figures and entrepreneurs will provide expert guidance on development and growth opportunities.

The three-year programme, made possible through a �£2.4m investment from The Manufacturing Institute and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), aims to tackle the continuing loss of skills within the manufacturing sector, combined with a shortage of skilled workers, two of the largest threats for future manufacturing in the UK.

Unlike traditional training, the programme aims to take knowledge directly to manufacturers by delivering the masterclasses and coaching on-site within manufacturing operations.

A web-based forum will also be developed for manufacturers to share knowledge with each other.

Julie Madigan, Chief Executive Officer at The Manufacturing Institute, said:

“With an estimated 587,000 workers set to retire from manufacturing over the next decade, there is an urgent need to drive up skills levels to replace the 
expertise that the sector will lose.

“We’re also seeing a growing trend towards technical and professional skill levels and yet smaller businesses often lack the resources and knowledge needed to take these forward.

“Through skills development, individual coaching and bespoke support, this programme aims to tackle these issues head on and maximise smaller manufacturers’ chances of success.”

Sir Howard Bernstein, Vice Chairman of the North West European Regional Development Fund Local Management Committee, said: “By supporting and strengthening the performance of businesses within such a key sector, The Manufacturing Institute will, through this project, boost local economies and local growth.

“This project is an excellent example of what we are trying to achieve with ERDF in the North West and we are extremely pleased to be contributing.”

The Manufacturing Institute is an independent charity founded to educate, inspire and improve manufacturing companies and their employees.