New workshop aimed at manufacturing technicians

 University of Wolverhampton and the sector skills council, Semta.

Demand for training aimed at CNC machine technicians in the region was identified, and a curriculum developed to meet this need with input from industry.

The workshop, delivered one day a week over a five-week period, provides practical hands-on experience and encompasses the life cycle of a component from drawing to the finished product.

The workshop also involves delegates undertaking a CNC diagnostic (developed by Semta) before the workshop starts and again at the end, this method establishes the improvements made which can be demonstrated back to the employer.

A pilot five-week workshop, titled Component Manufacture through Computer Numerical Control (CNC), was delivered to seven participants in May and a second workshop is planned for July 2011. The workshop is aimed at CNC technicians, but is also suitable for engineers, designers and quality assurance staff.

The demand for such a workshop was identified by the West Midlands Manufacturing Strategy Group which aims to highlight ways in which the region can become more competitive in world markets.

Semta, the sector skills council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, analysed the provision currently available and spoke to manufacturing and aerospace companies to understand what makes a good CNC technician.

Said Bill Twigg, Development Director, Semta: “From our research we found that CNC skills were the number one technical skill needed in the West Midlands.

“The workshop was developed and designed with industry and the provider network to meet the needs of the manufacturing sector. We chose the University of Wolverhampton as partners because it has the high-tech equipment need to provide practical training and the capability to deliver the training faster, easier and with higher value-added.“

The workshop is delivered by Iain Lyall, Technical Consultant for Innovative Product Development, based at the University’s Telford Campus. He says: “The people delivering the workshop are ex-industry so it’s being delivered by people who have experience doing the job.

“We want companies to take on work that they would not normally do, that is the only way that manufacturing in the West Midlands is going to hold its own both locally and globally.”

The University in conjunction with Semta has developed three levels for the curriculum and as well as the class based elements it includes hands-on experience. It is hoped that the workshop model will be distributed to the rest of the country; current national demand for the workshop indicates that this will be the case.

Businesses interested in finding out more should contact Semta Customer Services on 0845 643 9001 or


For media information please contact: Vickie Warren in the University Media Relations Office on 01902 322736 or Jenny Szweda at Consolidated PR on 020 7781 2390 or

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