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WNT supports £6 million investment by Engineering Technology Group to train engineers of the future


Centre (left) Martin Doyle of Engineering Technology Group over sees the ribbon cutting by Stuart Garner of Norton Motorcycles

WNT (UK) as a technical partner of the ETG training academies will be providing tooling and technical support

Norton Motorcycles is leading the way in design engineering and rideability, which is proving popular with customers from around the world

Thursday 20th July saw the first Engineering Technologies Group training Academy opened on the site of Iconic motorcycle brand Norton. The Academies are part of a major investment by Engineering Technologies Group, with help from strategic partners, including WNT (UK), that will address engineering skills faced by businesses, young people and the engineering sector as a whole. Each academy will be equipped with world leading CNC machine tools and precision technology with the technical partners providing equipment and software to deliver advanced manufacturing cells. In addition to training new engineers, these academies will also be used as demonstration facilities and to assist SMEs with production issues.”

“We are pleased to be involved with this initiative as we have a long record of working with training and education providers to encourage the next generation of engineers,” says Adrian Fitts, WNT’s Business Development Manager. “With these Engineering Technology Group Academies we will be supplying tooling packages for each machine and supporting those through our Applications Engineer Steve Warner, who will coordinate our partnership with ETG and develop demonstration pieces and provide technical support.”

The resurgence of Norton Motorcycles under the guidance of Stuart Garner, who purchased the brand back in 2008 makes it an ideal location for the first of these Academies. While Norton’s history dates back to 1898, but this modern incarnation is leading the way in terms of world class design, engineering, quality of materials and its superb handling motorcycles. Stuart Garner, CEO of Norton Motorcycle adds: “We are very proud of our British heritage and the reputation UK manufacturing carries across the world. However, in order for us to remain competitive we have to take it into our own hands and do something about bridging the skills gap. Working in partnership with ETG, we are proud to launch the first Technical Academy at our facility in Leicestershire and look forward to using it to improve the skills of our workforce and to support the wider supply chain in embracing advanced manufacturing.”

The 250 m2 technical academy at Norton Motorcycles contains six high-tech CNC machine tools from ETG’s range which will in addition to training new apprentices, will also be utilised as a new prototyping cell for Norton, where they can quickly trial the manufacture of new parts for their range of British-built bikes that are highly sought-after by enthusiasts across the world. Engineering Technology Group Managing Director, Martin Doyle highlighted the need for such facilities, saying: “There is a real need for industry to get to grips with developing the skills of the next generation of engineers and those already working in the sector. Put bluntly, the current education platform is broken and not relevant to the world we operate in. Instead of bemoaning our luck and lack of support, we’ve decided to do something about it with the launch of our national network.”

Alongside WNT the academies are being supported with technical partnerships by: Blum, Bott, Cimco, Filtermist, Formation, Guhring, Halter, Houghton, Hyfore, LNS, Mastercam, and Nikken.