Monday, April 11, 2016

News: Apprentice numbers to hit 650 at AMRC

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650 apprentices are expected to make use of the state of the art facilities at the AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham during the next academic year, as demand for apprenticeships continues to grow and young people realise their dreams to pursue an exciting career in engineering.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham the centre forms part of the The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, and 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.

Since taking on its first 140 apprentices in autumn 2013, the AMRC Training Centre has grown rapidly into an award-winning centre of excellence with over 400 employed-status apprentices.

Dan Swift, programme manager at the AMRC Training Centre, said: "More and more young people are choosing to earn and learn, seeing the value in getting real hands on experience alongside their qualifications, free from the burden of student-debt.

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"We are also seeing a positive push from the region's local schools and colleges, who are starting to recommend apprenticeship training as a first choice option to their higher-level achieving students. This increases demand and awareness of apprenticeships across the sector, and we have witnessed our apprentice numbers growing at an astonishing rate."

In preparation for the September 2016 start dates, the centre is holding extra "assessment centre" dates throughout the year to manage the amount of new applicants interested in taking advantage of the new apprenticeships, higher apprenticeships and degree level opportunities.

After putting in an application, potential apprentices are put through the assessment centre day, which includes a job style interview and series of tasks to determine suitability. Successful applicants then go onto employer-matching events, where they speak to the various employers to find a role which suits them.

Local employers are already advertising their vacancies and companies offering apprenticeships with the centre vary from major global businesses to local small and medium-sized enterprises, such as Rolls-Royce, Nikken, AESSEAL, Gripple, Cooper and Turner and Technicut.

65 assessment centre days have been held at the centre since it opened in January 2014, assessing a total of 1,820 potential apprentices. As demand is increasing, a further 18 additional assessment centre days are to be held between now and September 2016.

Swift added: "Engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships open doors to a wide range of exciting careers in mechanical manufacturing, fabrication and welding, technical support, design, electronics and maintenance; and our new degree and masters level apprenticeships means there are more career options than ever for young people."

Securing National College status, the AMRC Training Centre is set to become a key part of the UK's new National College for Advanced Manufacturing, but Government funding has yet to be secured.

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.

AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC

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