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Innovate UK awards £1.2m to College led West Midlands partnership to develop area’s battery manufacturing and innovation workforce

Following a profitable bid for over £1.2m in funding from the Innovate UK Faraday Battery Problem, the Digital Enhanced Battery Ubiquitous Coaching-West Midlands (DEBUT-WM) venture brings collectively regional consultants from universities, native authorities and trade to ship the pioneering degree 2 and degree 3 coaching programme.

College Faculty Birmingham, WMG on the College of Warwick, Cranfield College and RAVMAC LTD will collectively ship the venture with the assist of venture companions together with Jaguar Land Rover, which begins in October 2023 and runs over 18 months.

Rosa Wells, Government Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Digital & Sustainable Development at College Faculty Birmingham and Mission Lead, stated: “This venture is important in supporting our area in addition to contributing in direction of the broader internet zero ambitions. As a College that develops and delivers training from degree 1 by means of to degree 7 (postgraduate) we’re in a singular place to steer this venture, offering a sustainable coaching mannequin that meets the wants of learners, employers, wider trade and our area”

The programme will provide an formidable mix of conventional bodily coaching alongside superior immersive digital applied sciences corresponding to augmented, digital and blended actuality. Learners might be taught abilities used throughout battery manufacturing, repairing, recycling and reusing that may assist them in roles corresponding to technicians, manufacturing, upkeep, engineering and high quality assurance.

Mark McNally, Technical Director at RAVMAC Ltd stated: “This venture builds on established main regional technical experience and capabilities, and the usage of our digital studying environments might be core to the design of the coaching programme, enabling learners to navigate the entire battery manufacturing course of in a protected and structured method.”

As a part of the DEBUT-WM coaching programme, the companions will goal trade organisations, capabilities and people instantly concerned in battery workforce functionality growth. This can be sure that the continuing supply of the programme is actively knowledgeable by stakeholders and ensures wider sharing of the venture outcomes and studying.

The programme can even utilise gear and sources from WMG which is at present utilized in cutting-edge analysis in battery manufacturing and the broader electrification revolution. The venture might be aligned to the broader Nationwide Electrification Expertise Framework spearheaded by WMG making certain that learners purchase important abilities in electrification techniques.

Professor Robin Clark, Dean of WMG stated: “As much as 91% of all automotive manufacturing roles require some electrification coaching and the electrification revolution is increasing at tempo to sectors corresponding to rail and aerospace. With as much as 80% of the workforce of 2035 already in work, the filling of electrification roles will rely on us delivering larger degree abilities by means of coaching programmes corresponding to DEBUT-WM.”

The West Midlands Mixed Authority are facilitating the Electrification Taskforce within the West Midlands. The WMCA is prioritising growing degree 3 coaching within the area, accelerated coaching routes that reply to altering enterprise wants, growing flexibly delivered coaching, supporting will increase in employees accessing coaching and {qualifications}, championing equality and variety within the area’s workforce, and dealing in direction of the web zero agenda.

Andy Avenue, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, stated: “This can be a venture with great potential – supporting our area’s priorities while making certain native individuals have the talents they should succeed and safe prime quality job alternatives within the months and years forward. Collectively, we will provide the possibility for residents to up-skill in preparation for the roles and economic system of the longer term.”