Thursday, December 11, 2014

News: New National College of Advanced Manufacturing in Rotherham

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A new national advanced manufacturing college is set to be based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), which is located in Rotherham.

On a visit to the Sheffield city region, business secretary Vince Cable unveiled plans for a college that will help the UK to develop world-class skills in the manufacturing industry and close productivity and skills gaps with international competitors.

The college is set to be joint headquartered at a site in Coventry and at the AMRC Training Centre, the £20.5m centre on the AMP in Rotherham where the focus is on 250 students a year gaining the practical and academic skills that manufacturing companies need to compete globally. Part of the The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, apprentices have opportunities to progress on to postgraduate courses, doctorates and MBA levels. Sponsoring companies range from global leaders such as Rolls-Royce and Tata Steel to local high-tech supply-chain companies.

Securing National College status, the AMRC Training Centre will become a key part of the UK's new National College for Advanced Manufacturing, which will be based at several hubs around the country and will aim to identify the needs of industry and develop training provision to meet those needs.

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult and the manufacturers' organisation, the EEF, are to work with Government to agree the detailed organisational structure for National College of Advanced Manufacturing. The Government has £80m of capital funding to invest from April 2015 up to March 2017 in match funding a number of new National Colleges that deliver the higher level technical skills that businesses need.

Dr Vince Cable, business secretary, said: "Economic growth is underpinned by technological innovation, a strong manufacturing sector and scientific excellence. The UK can no longer afford to lag behind countries like France and Germany, which have invested heavily in technical skills at the highest level for generations.

"This new facility puts Sheffield and its surrounding area at the heart our nationwide drive to create the high-wage, high-skilled jobs of the future. It will give young people the opportunity to access the best industry-led training as well as help local firms attract the talent they need to grow their business."

Prof Keith Ridgway CBE, executive dean of the AMRC, added: "I am delighted that the new High Value Manufacturing training initiative builds on the success of the Catapult and look forward to working with the other centres to make this a great success."

The AMRC Training Centre has plans to grow the number of apprentices it is training and expand into new areas. These will include process control engineering, polymers, automation and robotics for food manufacturing and electronics and instrument control, which supports the strategic partnership with the new HS2 railway engineering college being set up in Doncaster.

The Centre also hopes to run short courses for up to 650 people a year, including CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses, and to introduce higher education courses ranging from foundation to Masters degrees.

Alison Bettac, director of training at the AMRC Training Centre, said: "We are grateful to Dr Cable for this vote of confidence in our strategy of creating employer led training that enables young people who would never have considered going to university to gain a job, practical skills and a potential route into higher education.

"It is a massive opportunity for us to increase our presence in new sectors and offer them the level of quality and provision we already offer to the aerospace, nuclear, oil, gas and other advanced manufacturing sectors."

AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC Training Centre

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