UK steel suppliers should have more confidence in the future supply of skilled workers for roles like light fabrication and welding, with the opening of a £2 million training centre by industry representative body EEF.

EEF, which represents the whole manufacturing industry, has reported that the centre is “state of the art”, with facilities for teaching light fabrication, welding, milling and CNC machinery.

About 250 people each year are expected to pass through the facility, from apprentices to experienced employees working on their ongoing professional development.

The training centre aims to reinforce and strengthen the UK’s position in global manufacturing – the country currently has a total manufacturing workforce of 2.6 million people, accounting for 11% of GDP, and ranking eighth in the world.

Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, said: “Apprenticeships aren’t just a ‘win’ for industry, they’re a ‘win’ for young people too, offering an opportunity to kickstart an exciting and rewarding career.”

“The more who take up this opportunity, the better it will be for manufacturing and the wider economy,” he added.