MORE than 120 Cumbrian workers are being up-skilled through a North West technology adoption programme.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cumbria are upskilling 123 jobs with the help of Made Smarter, in their drive to digitalise.

In all, 1,822 roles are being up-skilled in the North West to meet the demands of these emerging technologies and ensure successful digital transformation.

Maryport-based DM Engineering, launched in 2019, is a start-up engineering firm offering precision machining, manufacturing and site-fitting services to customers in West Cumbria.

“I have a small team of hand-picked engineers with old- school engineering values but a forward-thinking approach to modern manufacturing methods,” said owner Darren Martin.

“New technologies can be daunting for some engineers. But my team is onboard.

“They’ve seen the benefit of having the most up-to-date software, saving time and effort by reusing designs from previous, similar jobs, and having opportunities to do more challenging and highly technical work.”

SME leaders are having to navigate the challenges of digitalisation, like effective communication of the benefits of change, capturing the technical skills and know-how of older workers before they leave the industry, and attracting new digital talent into the organisation.

DM Engineering engineer, John Mattinson, 55, said: “Engineering has changed a lot over my career with new technologies coming in.

“Admittedly, I was hesitant at first as I didn’t fully appreciate how it would work or how it would make things better.

“Change can be unnerving, but once you see the outcomes it makes complete sense to pursue new ways of doing things.”

Made Smarter said it is aiming to support manufacturers though organisation and workforce development (OWD) advice, and a leadership programme designed to equip managers and directors with the skills needed to pursue smarter manufacturing.