Manufacturing companies in the West Midlands are being given the opportunity to boost the skills of their workforce and improve profitability.
Under a new initiative, sperheaded by Skills4Auto, SMEs in the manufacturing and engineering sectors can now offer their employees training in Lean Business Improvement Techniques leading to NVQ levels two and three.
Funding has been made available by Learning and Skills Councils.
The focus is not only on improving employee's skills but also business performance as a whole.
The programme includes assessment of current activities and competences, appropriate training and a follow-up appraisal.
Bryan McGinity, managing director of Midlandsbased Skills4Auto, said the region had always been recognised as the heart of Britain's manufacturing and engineering industries, but to be internationally competitive it had to have a workforce trained to the highest global standards.
He said: "This initiative offers a win win situation all round. By improving skills and obtaining the related qualification, the workforce will become more competent to carry out their specific roles.
"As a result, employers will be able to increase productivity and hence their profitability. "There are enormous benefits to everyone. I would strongly urge SMEs to take advantage of this scheme and the significant changes that Lean Business Improvement techniques can bring."
Meanwhile members of the Metalforming Machinery Makers' Association based in Birmingham is giving its members free access to Croner Consult-ing's business facts sheets.
Croner is a long established source of business information and advice including commercial and contract law, company law, debts and debt recovery, VAT and income tax as well as employment and personnel issues.
David Brotherton, secretary of the MMMA, said: "We always look to provide help to our members."