MTC project to help construction industry productivity


The Manufacturing Technology Centre has been selected by the Construction Industry Training Board to produce training materials to support the development of offsite construction.

The MTC is to create a set of high-quality materials to upskill trainers in education and industry in offsite manufacturing and construction.

The programme is part of a £1.2 million CITB project to increase the skills capacity in this fast-growing area which is revolutionising the way schools, hospitals and houses are designed, manufactured and built. The project was paused last year due to the pandemic, but is now re-starting. MTC is part of the Construction Innovation Hub which is developing a range of technologies and processes to improve productivity in the construction and social infrastructure sectors.

Ian Buckingham, MTC future skills manager, said that developing offsite construction capability is a key priority to address productivity in the construction sector and to enable it to meet the Government housing target of 300,000 homes per year.

“The primary purpose of this project is to develop the capability and capacity of the construction industry training network so enabling it to support the move to offsite construction. The project will pilot a blended online assembly operator programme in early 2022 aimed at employers. The programme is designed to prepare assembly operators for a role in a lean manufacturing, offsite construction factory. The MTC is at the forefront of emerging technologies, productivity and efficiency and we are very pleased to provide the construction training sector with the support it will need to drive construction forward.”

Steve Radley, CITB strategy and policy director said: “Upskilling the workforce will be key in improving productivity, particularly in greater use of offsite construction. As the economy recovers from the pandemic, offsite can help housebuilding, for example, by delivering new homes in up to half the time of traditional construction methods. CITB is supporting industry to build these into training not only for those already within the sector, but also at entry level for the new recruits the industry needs.”

As a result of this initiative, industry and education will have free access to a range of standard, innovative and consistent learning materials. Trainers in education and industry will be able to upskill themselves in offsite construction, with an outreach programme for secondary schools to show a new generation the career opportunities involved.

The MTC is looking for industry partners, organisations and individuals involved in the delivery of learning solutions to the construction industry, who would be interested in participating in this transformative course. Contact the MTC to find out more and book a free place or register interest: [email protected]

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.

Pictured: Offsite construction can transform productivity in construction