From education to employment


An immersive technology solution designed to boost training for the manufacturing sector has been named as the winner in national Enginuity Skills Awards which recognise champions of skills development and innovators tackling challenges in engineering and manufacturing.

AutoLive, developed by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) in partnership with Coventry University Enterprises – Interactive (CUEi) and supported by the Ufi VocTech Trust, brings game engine technology and VR simulations to manufacturing, and engineering workplaces, enabling fast and safe training to be delivered to new recruits. The solution was conceived to meet a need identified by the automotive sector.

The project, which won the Skills Innovation category, uses a blend of immersive technologies to provide realistic, interactive, and engaging experiences of the production line and its surrounding environment. AutoLive enables trainees to gain ‘on-the-job’ training in a risk-free environment, where they can learn by doing. Benefits include reduced training costs, minimised safety risks, more consistent delivery, and increased efficiency.

Speaking from the glittering awards ceremony held in London on 17 March 2022, Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “We are delighted that the AutoLive project has been recognised by Enginuity because it shows how further and higher education is working together to create impactful solutions in response to training requirements within the manufacturing sector.

“The sector is facing challenging times as the UK moves forward with its economic recovery. With 180,000 people employed within UK automotive manufacturing, and 20,000 new jobs forecast by 2030, the sector faces accelerating skills gaps. We know that manufacturing businesses need highly skilled and competent staff that can hit the ground running quickly to maintain consistency, safety, and productivity.

“When new recruits join these businesses, or existing employees take on new roles, they need to be able to engage quickly and safely with the complex tasks involved in producing high quality products to tight deadlines. The AutoLive training solution is set to improve the process of getting manufacturing operatives up and running quickly across multiple sites.

Andrew King, Operations Director at Coventry University Enterprises said, “This is a fantastic achievement for the AutoLive project, and we are grateful to the judges for recognising its value. As well as reducing training costs through a more efficient use of time and resources, AutoLive improves the consistency of outcomes, leading to faster onboarding and an improved ROI. Significantly, the tool combines virtual reality learning with a full structure of support delivered by NWSLC to provide a robust all-round training solution for high-tech workplaces.”

Chief Executive Officer at Enginuity, Ann Watson, said: “It was wonderful to see so many brilliant apprentices, learners and companies being awarded and celebrated. We have a remarkable depth of talent and enthusiasm at work throughout our sectors.

“Enginuity’s charitable mission is to help give engineers the opportunity to change their world and ours and these awards are the perfect opportunity to recognise their efforts. This is particularly important when it comes to supporting those who are starting or developing their careers, as well as enabling industry to bridge the skills gap.”

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