Thursday saw the official opening of the AMRC’s new Training Centre. The Centre, on the Advanced Manufacturing Park site at Catcliffe between Rotherham and Sheffield is the latest development at what is one of the most innovative developments in the advanced manufacturing sector.
Paul White, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield and John Foden, the Mayor of Rotherham, opened the event welcoming a wide range of guests.
Government was represented by Kris Hopkins MP, a Minister at the Department for Communities with responsibility for Enterprise Zones. He spoke about the importance of advanced manufacturing to regenerating the Regions and areas, like the one in which the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) is situated which had suffered from dereliction as traditional industries declined.
Dr Hamid Mughal, Engineering Director at Rolls Royce, paid tribute to the AMRC and its commitment to training saying that if the UK was to compete internationally for investment in advanced manufacturing it could only be on the basis of technology and skills – two things the AMRC brought together. He also reported an astonishing statistic, that Rolls Royce buys 2.5 billion components from its UK supply chain every year.
The Training Centre’s Director, Alison Bettac, gave a detailed presentation on what the centre does now and what it is aiming to do in the future. It has now enrolled its first cohort of apprentices. These young men and women are employed by companies but are spending the first year of their apprenticeships at the AMRC learning the basics of engineering. After their first year they will be based in their companies but return to the centre for one day a week to pursue further studies.
The Training Centre will offer a range of pathways, including the Technical Sales Pathway developed in partnership with the MTA. Guests were treated to tours of the Training Centre conducted by some of the apprentices and saw workshops dedicated to machining, composites manufacture and welding as well as areas for electronics and robotics.
The day concluded with presentations from two companies, of very different sizes, with apprentices enrolled at the centre; AES Seal of Rotherham and Boeing of, well, everywhere. There was also a chance in the same session to hear from some of the apprentices themselves who were impressively forthright about the advantages they saw to pursuing their chosen careers.
Several MTA members have already got apprentices enrolled at the centre and more will surely follow, especially once the Technical Sales apprenticeship is up a running later this year, an option which will attract funding from the MTA.
You can find out more about the AMRC’s Training Centre at www.amrctraining.co.uk