Friday, March 11, 2016

News: Engineering Extravaganza on the AMP

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Around 120 pupils from schools across the Sheffield city region and surrounding area are to take part in an Engineering Extravaganza at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It operates a £20.5m Training Centre on the site to train the next generation of engineers.

The one day event has been developed to show youngsters, aged 12 to 14, the varied careers that can be found in the engineering industry by giving them hands on experience using problem solving skills.

It takes place on Tuesday March 15, as part of British Science Week, which coincides with National Apprenticeship Week.

Four professional engineering institutions: the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), working together as Tomorrows Engineers will organise the event at the AMRC's Knowledge Transfer Centre.

Ian Crowston, programme manager at Rolls-Royce, who is leading the team organising the event, said: "The Engineering Extravaganza is an interactive event, designed to inspire young teenagers and their teachers about STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – subjects.

"It gives them an opportunity to spend time with engineers, technologists and scientists. We hope that both the students and their teachers will find the event educational and rewarding and give them an introduction to the careers options available to STEM subject students."

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The Engineering Extravaganza takes place at the same time as the AMRC Training Centre is staging a series of events to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

These include an Insight Day for schools and one of its popular "Back to the Floor" days for teachers of STEM subjects and careers advisors, giving them the chance to experience life as an apprentice.

The Centre is also organising an Open Day for anyone interested in an apprenticeship and an Employers' Breakfast on the Friday, which will give businesses a chance to learn about opportunities for taking on an apprentice.

National Apprenticeship Week is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

The new CEO of the AMRC, Colin Sirett, left school at 16 for an apprenticeship, rather than take A-Levels. The former Airbus head of research for the UK, said: "I liked the idea of earning money and I had heard that you stood a chance that one of the local companies would sponsor you through a degree.

"This country lost its way when it started forcing young people to go straight to university, which is why what is happening now at the AMRC Training Centre is so massively important. Just look at who is at the helm of many of the UK's leading engineering companies and you will find many former apprentices who gained qualifications while they were at work."

AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC

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