A HEREFORD law firm has played a vital role in helping to plug the skills gap by championing engineering and manufacturing across the county and beyond.

Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors has signed up to support the delivery of the New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE) which will be developed with guidance from USA-based Olin College of Engineering and Warwick University.

William Morse, head of the Lanyon Bowdler Hereford office, said: "One of the key values of Lanyon Bowdler is to create and retain talent locally and to support the great businesses in the area.

"We work with a large number of engineering and manufacturing clients, and from speaking to people in the industry we know it needs a change of perception to make it more attractive to potential employees.

"There are some fantastic opportunities in these sectors, which are a real growth area in the UK, and it’s vital that young people are given the right information so they understand what a career in engineering and manufacturing means in 2016.

"Through the NMiTE scheme we can show that we can create something world class in Hereford which will have an impact on the rest of the world.”

The skills gap was highlighted by Chancellor George Osborne in his November spending review when he announced support to secure launch funding for the creation of a new not-for-profit world class teaching university, based in Hereford.

But the university needs to be match funded by private sector investment for the scheme to succeed.

It will focus on developing education models and approaches to meet the needs for engineering in a variety of sectors.

Karen Usher, from the university development team, said it was a very exciting time.

She said: "We are delighted that Lanyon Bowdler has decided to become a partner of the university and is committed to making a difference in this sector.

"It is great to see a local company getting on board and supporting an initiative which could have an influence across the world.

"We would be thrilled to hear from any others in the local business community inspired to follow Lanyon Bowdler’s lead.”

As well as education providers, the university will have active engagement from Royal Academy of Engineering, CBI, EEF, IET and other professional bodies.

The first course is due to cater for its first 300 undergraduates in 2019. For more information visit the website at nmite.org.uk/about/.