Developing the skills system for emerging technologies

HVM Catapult is leading work to create a better technical skills system for manufacturing and many other key sectors in the UK

Apprentices use manufacturing equipment

Key points

New courses for emerging tech

51 modular training units for priority areas in UK skill development

Upskilling the workforce

139 teachers trained to deliver modular courses and 635 workers directly upskilled in vital emerging technologies


Funded by £2.5m from the UK’s Department for Education, we led work in 2021/22 to prepare the future skills system for emerging technologies. This allowed us to trial our Skills Value Chain approach on a larger-scale to demonstrate value to the UK economy.

Working closely with Institutes of Technology, we developed 51 modular training units for crucial technologies across this programme of work, including additive manufacturing, industrial digital technologies and electrification. These units were made publicly available for use across the entire education sector, helping to ensure accessibility of these skills to new learners.

Once units were complete, our technical experts delivered guided training to 139 teachers in further education and 635 direct learners. This improved the skill levels in both industrial and educational settings, allowing knowledge of cutting-edge technologies to be used in the wider economy.

We are proud to say the story does not end with this work. Our specific focus on electrification and net zero technologies was codified in September 2021 in our joint report with WMG and the Faraday Institution: The opportunity for a national electrification skills framework and forum. We are now expanding our foresighting work in this area with industry support, helping to highlight this vital set of technologies.

We are also leading work to expand this approach to technical skills beyond manufacturing. We will be working with other Catapults to create a better skills system for offshore renewable energy, space applications, and many other key sectors for the UK.

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