AFM boost

Investment in skills within the north-west’s advanced flexible materials sector has been given a boost with almost £400,000 from the Northwest Regional Development Agency.


Investment in skills within the north-west’s advanced flexible materials (AFM) sector has been given a boost with almost £400,000 from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).



AFM are widely viewed as a ‘platform technology’ – a base upon which several other important clusters such as aerospace, automotive, chemicals, construction, biomedical, environmental technology, maritime and sport depend.



AFM are characterised by high added value innovation and success in export markets, which support the region’s aim of becoming a knowledge-driven economy.



A £600,000 project, which will see the development in skills in new product development and outsourcing, will allow employee skills to meet the needs of the industry, ensuring the region retains and can grow its market position.



Working with partners at NWtexnet, the north-west regional cluster organisation for the AFM sector, the NWDA funding will provide specific training modules, educate trainers, pilot the scheme and evaluate the results.



Mark Hughes, executive director of enterprise and skills, at the NWDA, said: ‘The right skills are critical to the economic development of the region; ensuring vital sectors remain competitive and productive.


‘In the case of the AFM market, this is even more important given the region’s high concentration of AFM companies and the potential to grow as Europe’s leading centre for the sector.’