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WMG and Skills Academy in new collaboration

PRESS RELEASE 23 January 2009
The partnership will spread best practice from Jaguar Land Rover programme
The National Skills Academy for Manufacturing and WMG at the University of Warwick today signed an agreement to pool their collective knowledge in skills development for the benefit of UK manufacturing.
The partnership will disseminate the knowledge from WMG’s £72 million Premium Automotive Research and Development Programme. This worked with Jaguar Land Rover to help suppliers to premium car manufacturers in the West Midlands develop their skills, products, processes and market understanding to such a level as to be competitive in global markets. Through a focus on skills development, it recently helped to save some £4m in bringing Jaguar’s new XF model to market in a record 29 months.
The Skills Academy has spent two years researching and implementing leading edge practices that enable work-based learning to achieve its full potential. This has resulted in a new systems-based approach to learning from the Skills Academy known as the Learning Engine. This new model is designed to link training to business objectives to provide a measurable return - initial results show a 6:1 return on any investment in learning.
Bob Gibbon, Managing Director of the Skills Academy, said:
“WMG is part of a top university and is an acknowledged world class organisation with almost 30 years of experience of adding value to the manufacturing industry. WMG’s values match those of the National Skills Academy for Manufacturing which is a centre of innovation and excellence dedicated to raising standards of skills and work-based learning to help enhance UK Manufacturing’s global competitiveness. By coming together we can pool expertise, knowledge and best practice in work-based learning that provides measurable business benefits and disseminate it across the sector, the region, and throughout the UK.”
Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Founder and Director of WMG, said:
“By working with the Skills Academy we aim to establish a major national agency that shares its collective thinking with the sector, using each other’s networks to disseminate far and wide. We will also provide a place to demonstrate best practice in work-based learning for training practitioners and look to cascade best practice throughout SMEs in manufacturing – which currently accounts for 90% of the industry. This is great news for the West Midlands and manufacturing throughout the UK.”
Images of the MOU signing are available on request
Press contact:
Joe Meaney, 0845 680 1864 (direct) 07875 469309 (mobile)
Notes to editors
The National Skills Academy for Manufacturing is an employer-led, world-class centre of excellence and innovation in skills. It provides an independent national standard for manufacturing training content, advice and delivery.  The Skills Academy has developed a new model for skills training designed to ensure that employers, learners and trainers all get the most out of the whole process. Known as the Learning Engine, it identifies five steps in the training process – analyse, prepare, deliver, follow through and evaluate. By following this process the Skills Academy can ensure that any investment in learning provides a measurable return.  For more information go to:
WMG, an academic department of the University of Warwick, is a provider of innovative solutions to industry, supporting some of the most advanced research, development and training projects in the world. For more information go to

National Skills Academy for Manufacturing