GLASS production in Stourbridge could be in for a boost if a new academy scheme gets the go-ahead.

The British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation is aiming to set up a nationwide training programme to offer apprenticeships and qualifications up to degree level in glass making as an alternative for young people to higher education.

The plan has the backing of Stourbridge MP Margot James who has written to Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr Vince Cable MP, in support of the bid.

Ms James said: "Glass production in Stourbridge is not what it was but it is still in the area and in order for it to have a future we need a stable supply of people with the skills that are required.

"In 2010, only five per cent of science, engineering and technology graduates entered manufacturing.

"We need to reverse that trend by ensuring that the best people are equipped with the latest skills and knowledge so as to drive the industry forward."

The Glass Academy plan is currently under consideration for funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and more details will emerge if the bid is successful.

Dave Dalton, CEO of the British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation, said: “The Glass Academy is a well thought out and clever way of developing skills and talent within the sector.

"We, at the British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation, as the industry’s trade body and lead organisation in the bid, remain optimistic of a positive outcome.”