Wolverhampton fly's the flag for UK industry

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A new focus on developing engineering skills will be critical to Wolverhampton’s success as a premier city for high-end manufacturing in the aerospace and automotive industries.

This is the strong message from city council’s Economic Growth Manager Jay Patel.

“Wolverhampton has a long tradition of being a place where things happen, where creativity and innovation are seamlessly combined with state-of-the-art business environments and industry-leading manufacturing.

“Bucking the recession have been our aerospace companies. We have the largest cluster of aerospace first tier suppliers in the West Midlands including Goodrich Actuation Systems, HS Marston Aerospace, Moog Aircraft Group and Timken UK – are all at the forefront for supplying precision parts for aircraft."

Another boost to the area around i54 is the expansion of prominent industry network Made in the Midlands who have made a commitment to the area by moving into their new home on the Pendeford Business park, proving confidence in the city, restoring Wolverhampton's dominance in manufacturing industry.

Jay added: “The City of Wolverhampton College is a top three provider of apprentices in the region, while in the past few years the University of Wolverhampton has supported businesses with consultancy, research and development facilities, skills development and knowledge transfer activities worth £25.6 million.”
The challenge now was to persuade new generations to choose engineering as their career path, said Jay.
“For many years, engineering has not been presented as a particularly attractive option for young people with many of the brightest and best tempted by rival sectors, particularly in the financial services and other service sectors.
“But with so many manufacturing companies bucking the trend, more young people are starting to appreciate that engineering provides an exciting and prosper future career.”
Jay said it was time now for young people and employers alike to renew their interest in apprenticeships to develop the engineering skills of the future.
“Those companies that employ apprentices say they make a marked impact on their business bottom line with most reporting that apprenticeships make them more competitive and productive. Apprentices also tend to be more cost effective and are more loyal, delivering long-term savings to companies in terms of both recruitment and training.
“At the same time, young people are thinking more critically about their post-16 options – and whether the conventional higher education route is the right one for them, especially with the imposition of tuition fees.
“The time’s ripe to plug the engineering and manufacturing skills gap with apprenticeships.