10 Dec New manufacturing centre hosts visit from local MP

Emma Reynolds, MP for Wolverhampton North East, visited the University of Wolverhampton’s £100 million regeneration project at the former Springfield brewery recently.

The Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills, along with partners Dudley College, Cast Metals Federation, Confederation of British Metalforming and the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers, welcomed Emma to the new employer-led training facility for the Black Country designed to enhance productivity in the region’s high value manufacturing sector.

The project has been partly funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership. The ECMS Hub will be based at the University’s £100 million Springfield Campus and will deliver skills training through short courses and apprenticeships at three spoke locations in the Midlands – Tipton, West Bromwich and Dudley.

Emma took the opportunity to talk to partners about their involvement with the project and was given a tour of the facilities by Elite Centre for Manufacturing’s Chief Executive, Ian Fitzpatrick.
Emma said: “The manufacturing industry faces an ageing workforce and a skills shortage, and the ECMS was set up to address this. The centre offers training courses right up to degree apprenticeships, so is able to offer training and upskilling throughout people’s careers. “I was delighted to visit the ECMS and discuss its work with Ian Fitzpatrick and his team who have engaged with the manufacturing industry to understand what they need from a training centre like this. I also met with the trade association and training providers who work in partnership with the ECMS. The University of Wolverhampton’s vision for the Springfield Brewery site is to become a national training hub with international significance, with the ECMS, the adjacent University Technical College and the under construction School of Architecture and the Built Environment.  “It is so welcome to see the former Springfield Brewery site come back to use. The site has such a long history of manufacturing, so it is fitting to see it given a new lease of life training future generations for the manufacturing sector.”

Partners have invested £12.6 million in the future of manufacturing. The Hub and Spokes are bespoke, dedicated training centres which work with existing training providers to equip people with manufacturing skills including casting, toolmaking, patternmaking, metalforming, forging and foundry training, as well as mechatronics, product design and development and advanced computer numerical control.

Apprentices learn on the job at one of the ECMS’s training Hub or Spokes equipped with new training rooms, metallurgy and metrology labs with access to partner training centres and state-of-the-art engineering facilities.

All apprenticeships meet the New Apprenticeship Standards with a variety of delivery models available.

Employers or potential apprentices should contact Trevor Codner at the ECMS on 0800 953 3222 or 01902 321663.

Picture Caption from left to right: John Lockley, Curriculum Manager at Dudley College, Victoria Millward, ECMS Administrator, Julia Cartwright, Institute of Cast Metals Federation, Pam Murrell, Chief Executive Officer, Cast Metals Federation, Geraldine Bolton, Chief Executive, Confederation of British Metalforming, Professor Jackie Dunne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, Liam Price, In Comm Tooling and Press Centre, Emma Reynolds MP and Ian Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive at the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills.

Angela Mason
Angela Mason