SMMT Industry Forum is proud to support the new government-backed programme to improve UK manufacturing competitiveness and productivity. The £10 million programme aims to help make the UK’s aerospace manufacturing supply chain more competitive and was launched by new Business and Industry Minister, Andrew Stephenson during a recent visit to MEP in Aylesford, Kent.

SMMT Industry Forum is to play an important role in the new initiative. The SC21 Competitiveness and Growth programme is funded by the government as part of its Industrial Strategy, and Aerospace Sector Deal, and has been jointly developed by the automotive and aerospace sectors. It aims to assess and improve competitiveness, raise workforce capacity and increase productivity of all types of UK manufacturers.

The first part of the programme develops a proposed implementation plan, underpinned by a financial business case. This phase is known as the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL) assessment. Led by approved Assessors, the approach analyses current capability across the beneficiary organisation, the internal vision and aspirations, as well as collating the views of customers on current and future competitiveness needs through a series of interviews. These are combined to develop work streams that will directly impact on competitiveness.

Companies can then access funding to use sector approved, quality assured providers to support the implementation of their plans. Implementation support will combine training, coaching and mentoring activity. Throughout the implementation programme, the beneficiary organisation will have full ownership and control of the activities, ensuring they continue to best meet requirements.

Along with other national providers, SMMT Industry Forum will support the programme both in the assessment and implementation phases. SMMT Industry Forum was actively involved in the development of the process, supporting pilot phase activities across both the automotive and aerospace sectors. In the automotive sector, the parallel programme will be known as National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels.

We’re delighted that SC21 Competitiveness and Growth has now been endorsed by government in this way. We have taken over 25 years of experience operating in Automotive and Aerospace sectors to develop this approach to help manufacturers understand their current capabilities and competitiveness, and quickly work out where and how to invest, to make big improvements. The programme is now very much open for business and we’re looking forward to helping more than 170 companies achieve their potential across the two sectors.

If your organisation is interested in benefiting from this programme, please express interest by visiting the NMCL website.