NATIONAL SKILLS ACADEMY FOR MANUFACTURING LAUNCHED IN WEST MIDLANDS
A new £14 million national academy to raise manufacturing skills was launched by Alistair Darling, Trade and Industry Secretary in the West Midlands recently. He called for a 'national mission' to lift skill levels to compete with the growing economic powerhouses of China and India.
The new academy is one of a series set up by Government across sectors of industry. It will deliver courses designed for the first time by industry for industry, training 40,000 students a year by 2012. Some of the biggest names in British manufacturing such as Rolls Royce, Caterpillar, Ford, GKN, BAe Systems, Airbus UK, Corus, VT Group and Nissan are backing the project.
The national centre in Birmingham will join up with lead colleges in each region of England delivering courses under the National Skills Academy brand. The Academy badge will be a stamp of quality training for employers the length and breadth of the country. And any college or training provider will be able to apply to put Academy courses on, or go into firms to deliver them.
The first three regions are the West Midlands, the East Midlands and the North East. The other regions will come on stream by the end of 2007, and Scotland and Wales are due to be included early next year.