Tuesday, May 10, 2016

News: AMRC apprentices on the road

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First Group in Sheffield has generously donated a bus to the AMRC Training Centre for apprentices to refurbish and use for engagement activities with the region's local schools.

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. 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.

The AMRC approached First Group looking for a bus that could be used as a project for their engineering apprentices to strip out, refit and restore to full working order as a mobile teaching and demonstration facility.

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The new bus will complement MANTRA, the AMRC's HGV trailer packed with the latest state of the art machinery and simulators for use at educational STEM events across the country.

Assisted by AMRC apprentices, MANTRA recently attended MACH 2016, the national manufacturing technologies conference. Over five days, some of the thousands of aspiring young engineers attending the learning and development zone were able to get hands-on experience with the AMRC's cutting-edge technologies.

However the 14 metre lorry can be too big or heavy to visit smaller local schools. So the new bus will allow the apprentices to take their work out on the road to more local school children.

First Group donated the bus, which had been retired from their fleet in running condition, to the Training Centre free of charge; along with a full set of tyres kindly donated by Bridgestone, who provide tyres for the First Group fleet.

Kerry Featherstone, operations manager at the AMRC Training Centre, said: "The bus will be fantastic hands-on experience for the Training Centre's maintenance and mechanical engineering apprentices.

"Supported by First Group technicians assisting with parts and manuals, they will be refurbishing the bus so it will once again be running in top condition."

Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, co-founder of the AMRC, added: "The bus will contain a range of AMRC and Nuclear AMRC technologies, demonstrations of work completed by the apprentices and show life as an apprentice at the AMRC Training Centre.

"The hope is that the demonstrations will encourage young people to consider engineering as a career and assist the wider population to understand the work and the impact of the AMRC."

The centre is hosting an open event for apprentices on May 11 at 4:30-6:30pm.

AMRC Training Centre website

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