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Home > News > January 2007 > 26 January 2007

National skills academy for manufacturing launched

A new £14m national academy designed to raise manufacturing skills has been launched by trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling.

The new academy, at Warwickshire College in Leamington Spa, is one of a series set up by government across sectors of industry. It's expected that 40,000 students a year will be trained at the academy by 2012.

Some of the biggest names in British manufacturing Rolls Royce, Caterpillar, Ford, GKN, BAe Systems, Airbus UK, Corus, VT Group and Nissan are backing the project.

Mr Darling said: "Raising skills has to be a national mission. That is why some of the best known manufacturers in this country are on board.

"They know what it takes to compete and win. They know 'good enough' doesn't work. That is why it is vital the training is designed by these winners for the winners of tomorrow.

"The new Skills Academy for Manufacturing can be the production line for the next generation of highly trained, highly motivated manufacturing workers."

The government's aim is to have an employer-led National Skills Academy network to provide vocational education and training for school leavers and adults, tailor made to meet the specific needs of industry sectors and those who work in them.

There are plans to have up to 12 academies for different industries operational by 2008 and the government is investing £90 million in the programme which will be delivered through the Learning and Skills Council working with employers and their Sector Skills Councils.

The first three are in financial services, construction, and manufacturing. A fourth, representing the food and drink sector is close to being approved.

Bids from the nuclear industry; the chemical industry; the hospitality sector; and the creative and cultural industries have been accepted by the Government and will now be invited to work up business plans ready for the next stage of the process.

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