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Innovation and Skills for Manufacturing Roadshows

Eleanor Hubble & Phil Barnes
29 May 2019


In May 2019, three Swansea University projects, which were designed to help the manufacturing industry in Wales, joined forces to host roadshows across the country.

METAL, ASTUTE 2020, and M2A, in partnership with MAKE UK – the Manufacturers’ Organisation, hosted the ‘Innovation and Skills for Manufacturing’ roadshows, across three locations in the North, Mid and South-East of Wales.

METAL - Addresses skills shortages in the manufacturing sector through the provision of work-based learning leading to the up-skilling of the workforce.

ASTUTE 2020 - Applies advanced engineering technologies to manufacturing businesses – driving cutting edge R & D and Innovation.

M2A - Industry- led postgraduate research focusing on EngD and MSc collaborations in Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, generating the future leaders of industry training to take on tomorrow’s challenges.

 Day One: The projects headed north to Deeside to run the first event in Coleg Cambria. Kicking things off was Iwan Trefor Jones, Corporate Director at Gwynedd County Council, and Lead Director for the Economic Ambition Board. Following Iwan, each of the project’s presented to attendees before Janis Richards, Regional Manager, MAKE UK gave a final talk on Future Proof Performance.

Day Two: As well as MAKE UK, support for the Newtown College event was provided by the Mid-Wales Manufacturing Group. The group works on behalf of more than 140 companies across Mid-Wales and the Borders, to drive economic growth and create new opportunities for its members and the Sector as a whole.

Ceri Stephens, MWMG Chair, said: “Businesses are increasingly focusing on improvements in three key areas: innovation, collaboration and training, with investment in these areas essential for maximising potential. The MWMG members found the event really useful, and hopefully businesses will take the opportunity to benefit from the support available”.

Day Three: The final event took place at the Ebbw Vale Innovation Centre, which is owned by the UK Steel Enterprise, a subsidiary of Tata Steel. Giving an update on funding in the Cardiff Capital Region was Lisa Jones, from the South East Wales Regional Engagement Team

Speakers at all three events informed attendees from industry of the fantastic support available to upskill workforces, to exploit opportunities for collaboration, and ultimately to gain competitive advantages. With Q&A sessions and networking lunches following the talks, delegates we able to initiate new business relationships, and establish exactly what the projects could offer their businesses.

 METaL would like to thank all who attended, spoke at or helped organise these events, and are looking forward making the most of the new connections made with industry across Wales.