November 2017


Leading the way in the Knowledge Capital of the UK

Chief executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, CLIVE HICKMAN explains how the MTC – headline sponsor of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival – can play a central role in the region’s claim to be the Knowledge Capital of the UK.

This month the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) celebrates the second anniversary of the opening of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC).

The AMTC was launched in 2015. It is a purpose-built, 5,600 sqm state of the arttraining centre, focused on training apprentices in high value manufacturing technologies. It was designed to develop the engineers and technicians of the future and help to redress the skills shortage in UK manufacturing.

It is already changing the way apprentices are trained as we work tirelessly to meet the employer demands for the skills and expertise needed to underpin the UK’s drive to lead the way in securing the high value manufacturing jobs of the future.

AMTC is backed by national and local government and Lloyds Bank and supported by many leading UK-based manufacturing businesses. Our mission: To redress the balance of skills and knowledge and provide UK manufacturing with the most talented young people, future-proofed in the latest technology and with creative minds that make them industry-ready to add value and make a positive contribution to the UK’s high value manufacturers.

We have quickly established the AMTC as a leader in apprenticeship training. Our apprentices not only gain basic engineering skills but, over an intense two-year training programme, gain access to the technologies of tomorrowwhich will be instrumental to the UK’s manufacturing base, many of whom are based here in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Currently, we have more than 80 young people, including a record number of young women, learning skills that will pave the way for an exciting and rewarding career in manufacturing. We aim to increase that number to 200 apprentices in 2018, as the demand grows from local and national employers.

Many of those who have already passed through are already playing a key role with companies of various size and scale. Our dedicated team at the AMTC works hard to create meaningful partnerships with employers across the country. So, while we are proud to talk about one young apprentice who recently secured a role with current F1 world champions Mercedes Petronas, we are equally proud of the many more starting their careers with ambitious SMEs, working with the latest technologies on hugely ambitious projects that could well become the major high-value manufacturers of the future.

The AMTC isn’t solely about apprentices. We also invest in providing university graduates with opportunities to use theknowledge and skills gained in higher education at our state-of-the-art facility. In August we committed to invest more than £700,000 in PhD programmes to build on our position as one of the UK’s leading research and innovation centres.

Our commitment to the locality remains steadfast. The young people that have come through the MTC apprenticeship programme and are now working across Coventry and Warwickshire are proof of our determination to support local SMEs and manufacturing businesses. 

So now you know about AMTC. But what is the MTC and what do we do?

We are an independent research and technology organisation and our mission is inspiring Great British Manufacturing on the global stage. We are one of seven centres that comprise the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and we work across a range of sectors including aerospace, automotive, construction and infrastructure, working on innovative manufacturing solutions.

We take ideas from universities, utilising the best innovative manufacturing processes and technologies. Drawing on the skills of our people, we look to make great ideas become reality. We have been doing this for more than six years collaborating with our university partners and businesses such as Rolls Royce, Panasonic and Amey as well as SMEs - and with great success.

AMTC is a subsidiary of the MTC where I am CEO, and I place great importance on education, skills and knowledge. I want to ensure that our people remain at the forefront of the very latest technologies and new ways of thinking as we embrace the skills of the future. We want to ensure we encourage the very best people to support our programmes and, as such, the MTC is home to many leading experts in a range of fields including robotics and artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, additive manufacturing (3D printing) and electronics.

Our strength lies in our people and as the region positions itself as the Knowledge Capital of the UK, the MTC can add more weight to that claim.

We have an opportunity to illustrate this during this month’s inaugural Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival, which we are proud to be sponsoring.

This is a great opportunity for this proud, hardworking and historic region, to promote its talents and the business opportunities that are located in the region and I would urge you all to take advantage of the range of events on offer, a number of which will be hosted at the AMTC.

On Thursday 23rd November we host the Coventry & Warwickshire small business conference, organised by the Federation of Small Business, which will feature our head of skills development Christian Warden.

On Tuesday 28th November we host a Manufacturers’ Day, showcasing our facility and exploring how manufacturing businesses can embrace new technologies.

Finally, we will host the closing ceremony on Friday 1st December, which is sure to be a celebratory event at the end of a fantastic festival designed to showcase the very best of Coventry and Warwickshire businesses.


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