Tuesday, September 15, 2015

News: AMRC hits back over apprentice recruitment claims

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The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing has rebutted claims in the national media that the Government's Catapult Centres are failing to recruit apprentices.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and a partner in the HVM Catapult (the Government's strategic initiative that aims to revitalise the manufacturing industry), the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It is a partnership between industry and academia, which has become a model for research centres worldwide.

An article in the Independent included the suggestion that the Catapults offered only a handful of apprenticeships.

In a joint letter to the newspaper, AMRC executive dean Prof Keith Ridgway CBE, Nuclear AMRC chief executive Mike Tynan and AMRC Training Centre head of operations Kerry Featherstone said: "Contrary to Associate Business Editor Mark Leftly's report, Catapult Centres are hiring apprentices – and in our case training hundreds of high level engineering apprentices for the advanced manufacturing sector.

"The University of Sheffield AMRC – which includes the Nuclear AMRC and AMRC with Boeing, both part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult – opened its own Training Centre in 2014.

"The AMRC Training Centre takes 250 advanced apprentices a year, is currently providing training for more than 350 first and second year apprentices and hopes to significantly increase that number with further Government backing.

"A total of 18 of the AMRC's 260 staff are apprentices.

"The Nuclear AMRC, based, not in Manchester, as Mark Leftly's story says, but on the AMRC campus in Catcliffe, Rotherham, has seven apprentices among its 100 staff.

"Both centres' apprentice recruitment, as a proportion of total staff, is well above industry norms.

"What's more, we are not only training our own apprentices and we're training apprentices for companies like Tata Steel and Rolls-Royce, as well as other, local companies from the advanced manufacturing sector."

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield , added: "If Mark Leftly would like to come up to the Sheffield region and find out more about this pioneering work, we would be happy to take him around the Training Centre and introduce him to our apprentices."

AMRC website

Images: AMRC

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