Cultivating Talent: Dudley Advance Addresses Skills Shortage

Dudley Advance, the centre for advanced manufacturing and engineering tachnology, invited local employers to visit their state-of-the-art facilities.  The event, which was organised by NatWest, was held to discuss the decline of skilled workers in the manufacturing industry, with the intent to develop partnerships and establish apprenticeship schemes for the area.

Amongst the 12 local employers who attended, were United Steels and Plastic Bottle Supplies Ltd.  The 12 attendees reflected the variety of manufacturing oppotunities available in the Midlands.  The companies had a chance to experience all that the college has to offer, with a guided tour around the campus and various presentations by students.

Dudley Advance has now engaged in discussions with several of the companies, and will be looking to put in place programmes to allow their students to utilize their skills in the workplace.
Opened November 2014 after investment of more than £9 million, the college offers a range of courses in mechanical manufacturing, welding and electrical engineering.

Dudley's Engineering Services Co-ordinator, Helen Boden said: "NatWest has helped us greatly with the organisation of the event, and provided us with many of the company contacts. 

Dudley Advance is an integral part of the community, and by working closely with local SMEs, we can provide sought after skilled labour whilst simultaneously providing our students with experience."

NatWEst Relationship Director, Richard Dowen commented: "Through out work with local SMEs, we have recognised the demand for skilled labour.  It is important for us to support Dudley Advance, as the more estabilshed the college becomes, the more local manufacturing businesses will flourish."