News - 19 June 2014

Rolls Royce and partners awarded £4m of grant funding to help address skills shortages in manufacturing

Ministers today set out the latest work the government is doing in partnership with business to help manufacturing strengthen the economic recovery. 

A series of announcements were made by a delegation of ministers at a manufacturing summit in Merseyside attended by more than 250 business leaders. 

A new round of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg with £200 million made available to businesses across the country. 

But Rolls Royce was also a beneficiary as Business Secretary Vince Cable joined the Deputy Prime Minister and in his keynote speech to the Manufacturing Summit, announced: 

  • Rolls Royce and partners have been awarded £4million of grant funding to help address skills shortages in manufacturing. The project will give 300 young people the opportunity to undertake work experience as part of the Rolls Royce educational outreach programme as well as offering 145 internships and 60 apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds. The money from the Government’s Employer Ownership Pilot will also provide support and training to staff in the supply chain.
  • a £7 million grant to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield for research into large titanium parts in aircraft. The latest investment from the £2 billion Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) will ensure that the UK is at the forefront of cutting-edge research and development for the next generation of aircraft. 
  • More young people and teachers will be given the chance to get behind the scenes of the manufacturing industry thanks to an expanded Government and industry scheme. See Inside Manufacturing (SIM) is to be expanded to cover all manufacturing sectors.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Government and business have worked in partnership to develop an industrial strategy which will ensure that manufacturing – a key component in our economic recovery -continues to grow. There are signs of momentum – with production now at its highest level in five years – that we are determined to nurture.

“Our investment in research and development and skills training plus a tax break which incentivises companies to buy new plant and machinery, is giving business the confidence to invest, securing high skilled long term jobs and building a stronger economy.”

Dr Cable started the day by visiting St Mary’s Catholic College in Wallasey as part of the Inspiring the Future programme that brings leading employers into state schools to talk about careers. The event had a particular focus on Inspiring Women with the Business Secretary calling for more girls to work in manufacturing. He said:

“The UK economy badly needs technology and engineering skills. The shortfall is most acute in relation to women, where fewer than 1 in 10 UK engineering professionals are female. This is not good enough and must improve.

“More young people are studying science and maths at GCSE and A level but we need to do more to encourage ambitious youngsters that these subjects are the best route to successful careers. Only then will we bridge the skills gap. Initiatives like Inspiring Women and See Inside Manufacturing are crucial to recruiting more young people – and women in particular – into manufacturing jobs.”

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