Tuesday, December 3, 2013

News: Proving Factory takes on nine new apprentices

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Nine apprentices, who will start work at The Proving Factory's component manufacturing facility when it opens in 2015, have started on a three-year mechanical-manufacturing engineering course at the The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing's training centre in Rotherham.

The Proving Factory, a £22m government-backed manufacturing initiative will take low-carbon vehicle technologies designed by small high-tech British companies and university research departments and prove their viability in production to increase their chances of being adopted by major motor manufacturers.

The Proving Factory will consist of two facilities: component manufacturing at the Tata Steel site at Brinsworth, and an assembly facility in the West Midlands, providing employment and regeneration.

The AMRC Training Centre is nearing completion on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and the first cohort of 150 apprentices recently began their employer-led training, concentrating on sectors such as aerospace, energy and Formula One.

The Proving Factory's new apprentices will take part in a three-year, high-value machining course, which will provide them with all the skills they need to support the set-up and production process at the component manufacturing facility on Tata Steel's Brinsworth site.

Following a year's training at the AMRC, which includes modules specifically related to The Proving Factory, the apprentices will work closely with Tata Steel in the second year at Brinsworth, and by the third year will be working in the facility. They will also play an important part in supporting pre-production commissioning, ensuring the facility will be ready for full operation in September 2015.

Jacob McNeill, apprentice at The Proving Factory, said: "The training that we are receiving is excellent and the trainers are very friendly. I am really enjoying the projects, they are very interesting.

"The workshop and the facilities are really good. I feel that I made the right decision in taking up this apprenticeship, and am confident that the skills I'm learning will stand me in good stead for supporting the exciting work of The Proving Factory."

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock added: "These apprentices have been given a great opportunity to train in an outstanding facility. The AMRC Training Centre will give them the chance to learn the basics required to become a skilled engineer.

"Following their initial training, the apprentices will be able to continue their learning whilst working with Tata Steel before moving on to The Proving Factory in 2015. I would like to wish the apprentices luck as they take their first step into a new and exciting career."

Led by industry experts, Productiv Limited, working closely with Tata Steel and other advanced manufacturers and technology developers, the project centres on technologies with the "potential to transform the vehicles of tomorrow."

Funded under the Government's Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, it aims to bridge the gap (or "Valley of Death") between small enterprises developing leading edge low carbon technology and large vehicle manufacturers.

Richard Jones, project manager of The Proving Factory at Tata Steel, said: "The Proving Factory supports the automotive industry by bringing the latest low-carbon vehicle technologies to volume production, using state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly processes.

"The key to our success will be training the talented young people needed to fill these highly-skilled manufacturing roles. We look forward to supporting our new recruits through their courses, and to welcoming them into The Proving Factory when we start volume production in 2015."

Proving Factory website
AMRC Training website

Images: Proving Factory

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