Developing digital solutions to help tackle skills shortages in advanced manufacturing and engineering.
Skills shortages in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector are widely recognised by employer bodies, business groups and industrial partnerships. However, despite well documented skills shortages coupled with investment and innovation in digital solutions for manufacturing (e.g. Industry 4.0), manufacturers and providers weren’t really thinking about innovation and digital solutions to help meet the vocational skills shortages and future ongoing skill requirements.
To help address these challenges, in 2017 Ufi launched the VocTech Challenge: Skills for advanced manufacturing. The programme aimed to stimulate ideas and encourage and support organisations to develop new tech which could improve learning and increase productivity.
We were particularly interested in exploring ideas:
- with the potential to address current and future skills shortages in technical skills (e.g. Robotics / Maintenance / Quality / Systems and Process);
- with the potential to test new methods to develop vocational skills using digital technology. This could include blended learning, learning in shared industrial settings, smartphones / wearable technology and the application of VR and AR technology in vocational learning; and
- using digital technology to help upskill and bring new talent into the sector by providing bridges to employment
To help accelerate the development of these ideas a £1.5m grant fund was created for projects lasting up to 18 months.
You can explore the projects we supported on the links below.
Changing how composites training is developed and delivered.
Mixed reality food safety training.
Screen casting for flexible training environments.
Immersive games-based training for automotive manufacturing.
Tool to analyse SME skill requirements.
Engaging learners by providing access to bite-size education.