BUSINESSES in Winsford are being given a chance to learn exciting new skills to grow and expand.

Manufacturers are being urged to sign up for an innovative leadership programme which will equip them with the vision and the skills to pursue smarter manufacturing.

The Made Smarter Leadership Programme is a blend of workshops, site visits to manufacturers who are already on the journey of adopting digital technology, facilitated-learning sessions, and special project sprints to test new ideas.

After successfully empowering 22 businesses to begin their digital transformation in partnership with Lancaster University, including Technoprint in Winsford, the programme has been rolled out to Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Liverpool, who will begin delivering the programme in November.

Winsford Guardian:

Alan Ryan, from Technoprint in Winsford, who competed the first leadership programme

It gives more business leaders the opportunity to learn the strategies to support the adoption of hi-tech and digitally-based manufacturing techniques into their own production processes.

It also explores organisational culture and how to engage and enthuse employees and other stakeholders about their digital transformation journey.

READ > Plans to develop disabled play equipment in Winsford are welcomed

With social distancing measures likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future, the programme will initially be delivered predominantly online with a view to move to face-to-face workshops when this is safe to implement.

These include seven workshops led by both academics delivering leading edge thinking and business practitioners demonstrating adoption in real business settings.

People taking part will be able to test their ideas with employees from the business to build engagement and learning from each other.

Site visits will also be conducted virtually, until it is safe to do in-person.

Donna Edwards, director of the Made Smarter North West adoption pilot, said: “The Made Smarter Leadership Programme has been a success story, giving 22 of the region’s leaders the vital tools and insight to accelerate the adoption of advanced digital technologies within their business.

“The roll out of the programme means more small to medium enterprise manufacturers will have the opportunity to take time out of their business to reflect on the bigger picture and share ideas and experiences alongside their peers in manufacturing, and then return to their own business and develop a digital strategy to create growth and efficiencies.”

To apply for the next leadership programme visit