Since 2014, Made in the Midlands patron, Lloyds Bank, has sponsored the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre at the MTC, Coventry.
The ten-year commitment from Lloyds Bank provides £10m of funding to support the upskilling and training of 3,500 apprentices, graduates and engineers. To date, the funding has supported the training of 1,614 people within the manufacturing sector.
The MTC is now one of the leading training providers for advanced manufacturing technologies in the UK and is leading the way in teaching future engineers the latest technology trends.
The skills gap is one of the most prominent issues that UK manufacturing is facing and that’s why Lloyds Bank is supporting the MTC’s initiatives to help address this. Since 2019, to further assist the MTC Lloyds Bank has provided financial support through its Apprenticeship Levy Transfer programme which is set to continue until 2022.
For Lloyds Bank, manufacturing is in its blood as the group was founded in 1765 by two established manufacturing families in Birmingham.
Discussing why the bank continues to support the MTC, Richard Jenkins, Area Director for SME Banking at Lloyds Bank, explained: “We began to work in partnership with the MTC in 2014 because the collaborative approach they take to advanced technologies training for the manufacturing sector is hugely important for the UK and will be vital for the future of the sector.”
He continued: “The manufacturing sector accounts for 10% of UK GDP and directly employs 2.7 million people – it is a vital part of our economy. Whilst the UK continues to face into strong headwinds, with the pandemic and the changing nature of our relationship with the EU two of the most prevalent, the sector itself has demonstrated huge resilience. It also continues to innovate as we’ve seen from the response the sector provided to the demand for ventilators and PPE.”
As part of the future plans for Lloyds Bank and the MTC’s partnership, an SME support service is scheduled to be launched by 2021 which will help alleviate concerns of recruiting and training of apprentices. It will do this by offering salary, levy transfer and apprenticeship recruitment support to small businesses. It will also open up access to the MTC’s commercial online training materials. The service will also allow SMEs ease of access to the MTC’s other support from their Manufacturing Support Services (MSS) team.
Colin Bancroft, Strategic Development Manager, at the MTC said: “The partnership between Lloyds Bank and the MTC has been beneficial for the sector because both organisations understand that manufacturing makes up a large portion of SMEs.
“The aim of the partnership is to support SMEs to take on an apprentice with a number of services such as recruitment and funding support, through to salary support scheme in year one of the programme. The partnership is also there to help SMEs develop their knowledge in cutting edge technologies and to seed the future growth of engineers, making sure they are in a position to adopt them in future years.
The partnership so far has helped around 80 different employers and plans to engage more local firms in the Midlands area, which is even more vital as we come through the pandemic and in a post-Brexit world”.
Colin concluded: “Collaborating with Lloyds Bank and being part of Made in the Midlands allows us to broaden the MTC’s reach and ensure that SMEs and future apprentices are aware of what support is available to them.”