A Midlands machine tool supplier has pledged to tackle the skills gap by developing a £6m network of technical academies.

Engineering Technology Group, which is headquartered in Warwickshire, will open the first of these in Leicestershire before creating a further 14 across the UK.

The project was announced at the launch of the firm’s first facility at Norton Motorcycles in Castle Donnington – and all academies will be based on the site of a manufacturing partner.

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Managing director Martin Doyle said: "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.

"ETG is investing £6m in 15 technical academies and these will be fitted out with world leading CNC machine tools and precision technology.

"This will be further reinforced by equipment and software from technical partners keen to help bridge the gap, creating what will – in essence – be advanced manufacturing cells capable of training young people, existing workers and supporting SMEs with production issues."

ETG hope the facilities will allow companies to upskill staff on the latest machine tools and precision technology.