Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford announced an extra £1.4m EU funds to help more employees in the advanced manufacturing sector gain skills to drive a globally competitive Welsh economy.
 

The Materials and Manufacturing Education Training and Learning (METaL) scheme, led by Swansea University’s College of Engineering, is helping to raise skills, boost performance and productivity to drive this growing industrial sector.

The additional funding of £1.4m will enable the scheme to help more than 400 people gain technical skills in new and emerging sectors, such as energy and power, smart manufacturing, materials engineering, circular economy as well as corrosion and coatings technology. It will also support an extra 60 companies in North, West Wales and the South Wales Valleys.

Professor Drakeford said, 

“The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring the Welsh workforce is equipped with the skills needed to drive growth and productivity. This is another example of the importance of replacement funding for Wales following Brexit so that future investments can continue to support our ambitions for a sustainable and prosperous Welsh economy.”

Dr Khalil Khan of Swansea University, METaL Project manager, said:

“Securing this EU funding ensures the continuation of a fantastic vehicle for Swansea University to share its knowledge and experience to support Welsh businesses. 

“The funding complements the investment of Welsh Government in supporting Welsh businesses, and will benefit industry by ensuring that its workforce have the correct technical knowledge to enable Welsh businesses to compete in a global marketplace.“

One of the companies that has benefited from the METaL scheme is TATA Steel in Port Talbot. Andrew Townsend, a Fire and Environment Manager at the site talks about his experience of the scheme.

“The METaL courses have helped colleagues gain a better understanding of technical aspects associated with their operations. In particular, the environmental issues course has helped people understand environmental legislation and global, local, and market-sector based environmental issues.”

“The benefit for our employees is that they now have a better understanding of the environmental aspects of our business. For the company it is an advantage to have a workforce which is more environmentally aware which helps improve Tata Steel’s environmental performance.”

The scheme aims to support more than 800 people by the time it is completed in 2022.