Training opportunities for workers in Greater Manchester’s manufacturing industry

27 January 2022



Instep, the UK’s leader in business training, has been awarded a £1.2m contract by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to deliver two unique programmes focused on the needs of manufacturing businesses in the city-region.

The contract is part of GMCA’s three-year Skills for Growth programme, which has been made possible after the organisation secured £42million from the European Social Fund to tackle skills gaps in priority industries.

Both large businesses and small and medium enterprises (SME’s) can benefit from the courses, which go live immediately

The training will be short and delivered through blended learning over two strands, aligned with feedback received from businesses in the city-region.

Training will focus on:

  • Manufacturing management, which will support managers and aspiring managers with the knowledge they need to move to a person-led way of working and;
  • ‘Lean’ manufacturing, which is aimed at upskilling staff who need to develop technical skills for workplace efficiency, product mapping and problem solving.

The programme will target people in employment, although the programme does not exclude working with those that are unemployed.

Tom Stannard, Chief Executive lead of Education, Skills, Work, Apprenticeships and Digital in Greater Manchester said: “Manufacturing is a key industry for the growth of Greater Manchester’s economy. After significant engagement with employers in the industry, we forecast greater demand for higher-level technical and specialist skills in the future”.

“To meet this demand and to overcome the challenges identified through employer engagement, such as lack of diversity in the industry and unclear progression pathways, we’re committed to working with our training providers and businesses to create bespoke training.”

“We are delighted to award this contract to Instep UK, who have supported many employers in management and have some innovative ideas for engaging the employers and participants.”

Instep UK will address challenges identified by the sector by targeting women and younger demographics with the training.

Instep, CEO, Andy Murphy commented: “Manufacturing employs 10% of the working population in Greater Manchester, so it has a significant impact in the overall success of the sub-region.”

“At a time when the labour market is challenged both through the availability of labour but also the absence impact of the pandemic, it is important that businesses develop strong leadership and management principles, as well as driving efficiency, effectiveness, and performance”.

“We aim to provide opportunities for all and will actively engage with underrepresented groups in order to ensure a good supply of new talent and to close skills gaps forecast by the sector ”.

“The sector specific management and lean programmes this initiative allows us to deliver, plays to the heart of these challenges, and we are very much looking forward to supporting GMCA, and GM employers, to deliver positive outcomes.”

To qualify, businesses must be in the Greater Manchester area and identify as being in the manufacturing space. The training will be tailored to the manufacturing environment with manufacturing trainers. For learners to be eligible for this fully-funded training, they must be employed and live or work in the GMCA area.

For more information about the manufacturing courses available, please contact us via

For more information about Skills for Growth, visit