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2 minute read - 23rd June 2022

Cornwall manufacturing youth academy launched

Manufacturing and engineering skills in Cornwall are getting a boost with the formation of a pre-16 manufacturing academy. The Cornwall Manufacturers Group (CMG) and the Cornwall College Group (TCCG) have joined forces to address the skills gap in the sector, resulting in The CMG Academy.

The new academy will help pupils from local schools to develop their skills in manufacturing and engineering, resulting in them gaining a Level 2 Diploma in Manufacturing & Engineering. To be enrolled in the academy, all the interested pupils will go through an interview process. All students joining the academy will leave equipped with the correct skillset to either continue their studies or gain an apprenticeship.

Cornwall Manufacturers Group and Cornwall College Group have joined forces to form a pre-16 manufacturing academy / Picture: Getty/iStock

Jon Hurrell, chief executive of Cornwall Manufacturers Group (CMG), said: “Currently, we have got a huge skills gap – hundreds of jobs available in manufacturing and we just can’t fill them. So, to solve that problem in the long term we have partnered with Cornwall College to try to get the younger people involved in manufacturing as earliest as possible so that they can get inspired, get involved with manufacturing and then become a manufacturer of the future.”

The curriculum developed for this course has come as the result of a close collaboration between the Cornwall Manufacturers Group and The Cornwall College Group. Various meetings with the pre-16 team, TCCG’s management and the engineering delivery team were held to assure the offering addresses the current skill shortages in manufacturing, whilst giving pupils access to manufacturing companies in the form of tours and work experience.

Luke Bazeley, head of campus at Cornwall College Camborne, added: “This partnership is vital because it identifies the skills required locally to ensure our curriculum is sequenced and that we are meeting industry needs. If we are not meeting industry needs, which is therefore, the need of our students to get jobs within those specific industries, then we are not doing our job. It’s so important for us to make sure that each one of our courses has a clear intent, delivers desired results and connects our students to their industry of choice.”

After sharing more about the lack of skills in manufacturing and the impact on the industry, Eric Nicholls, managing director at Spiral UK and chair of the CMG, said: “This is an exciting opportunity and a bridge between industry and further education that will create a great pathway for young students wanting to come into manufacturing. The partnership gives students the opportunity to visit workplaces and see the real world of the industry in the flesh and that is so beneficial.”

Mark Duddridge, chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, concluded: “The Cornwall Manufacturers Group (CMG) Academy exemplifies how collaboration between training providers and businesses can develop the workforce of tomorrow in Cornwall. The LEP has co-funded this project along with the CMG and we are looking forward to seeing these young people and future cohorts develop skills tailored to the thriving manufacturing sector in Cornwall.”

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