A new partnership led by Lancaster University will boost skills and training to futureproof the region’s manufacturers

Lancashire’s advanced engineering and manufacturing businesses can access free skills training and resources to become more productive and profitable thanks to a new partnership led by Lancaster University Management School.

The EnginE project is designed to open doors for small and medium-sized businesses to access effective workforce development opportunities and futureproof their business.

Funded by the European Social Fund, the project is designed to signpost the opportunities and initiatives on the doorstep of local SMEs to help them tackle common challenges such as recruiting and retaining great staff, delivering cost-effective training, upskilling and development for existing employees, and making apprenticeships work for their business.

Advanced engineering and manufacturing SMEs can find out more about what is on offer and how to get involved through a series of events held in different locations around Lancashire over the coming months. The first, in April, will explore the opportunities offered to business by industrial digitalisation, and will feature an address from LUMS Honorary Teaching Fellow Sean McIlvine – Director of Infinite Perspective.

Annette Suddes, EnginE Project Manager at Lancaster University Management School, said: “There are common challenges that many advanced manufacturers and engineering companies face – whether it’s productivity, an ageing workforce, time constraints that limit workforce planning or difficulties in providing the right training employees need. Unfortunately there is ‘no one size fits all’ solution – but this is where EnginE comes in.

“Together, EnginE partners will create a tailored package of skills interventions for each SME that will help address their skills challenges. This will help ensure Lancashire companies remain competitive and apace with global competitors in such a fast-growing market.”

Leading your Manufacturing 4.0 Workforce Development Event

April’s event will look at industrial digitalisation, and how leaders need to address issues around people and work cultures as much as technology to adapt and evolve. Attendees will benefit from the advice of Sean McIlvine, who has experience at the top of the engineering industry as HR Director at both Rolls Royce Aerospace and Ford Britain. He will particularly focus on addressing the challenges for SMEs.

The event will take place in Lancaster House Hotel, Bailrigg, on Tuesday, April 2, between 6pm and 8pm. You can register here.

EnginE is a funded programme, delivered in partnership with Blackburn College, Blackpool & Fylde College, the North West Aerospace Alliance and the Northern Automotive Alliance, and in collaboration with BOOST – Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, which means the support and advice businesses receive is free, and the programmes, masterclasses and resources available are often heavily subsidised.

To find out more, contact EnginE@lancaster.ac.uk or call Lancaster University Management School on 01524 510194.

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