Monday, March 16, 2015

News: Schools on the shop floor at the AMRC

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Teachers from across the Sheffield region took to the shop floor under the watchful eye of AMRC Training Centre apprentices, to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

The AMRC Training Centre is a £20.5m centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham where the focus is on students aged from 16 upwards, taken on paid apprenticeships.

A dozen teachers tackled a "Design to Manufacture" challenge, making components by hand with nothing more than an engineering drawing and the advice of an apprentice to guide them.

The day was designed to help teachers give pupils a better idea about the opportunities for advanced manufacturing apprentice and has opened the way to closer contacts between the Training Centre and schools.

David Kavanagh, head of computing at King Edward VII School in Sheffield (pictured, left), said: "We want to bring our computer and engineering students down here and develop more links with the AMRC.

"I'm a frustrated engineer, so I'm really enjoying this. It's fantastic and I am going to ask the guys here to talk to our year 10 and 11 students.

"Our engineering department is very strong and we have got lots of students who are really into engineering."

David's mentor, Rowan Easter-Robinson (pictured, right), said his charge had taken to it "Like a duck to water," but had been a little over-enthusiastic and managed to hacksaw a bit too far into his workpiece.

"We'll have to find a way to recoup the metal!" added Rowan.

Careers teacher Catherine Price, from Whittington Green School, in Chesterfield, which has some students starting at the AMRC Training Centre later this year, admitted to being "an engineering novice."

However, mentor James Bayard, an apprentice with Mastercut Cutting Systems, was well impressed.

"She's doing really well," said James. "She's the furthest ahead of all the teachers in the Design to Manufacture challenge."

Adrian Dulley, from Sheffield's University Technical College, added: "The AMRC Training Centre is very impressive and the apprentices are very enthusiastic about what they are doing. They say they really enjoy it because it is different from school, much more "hands on" and practically based."

AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC

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