Tuesday, November 8, 2016

News: Scotland's First Minister visits Rotherham

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The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon visited Rotherham this week, examining a potential model for developing Scotland's National Institute of Manufacturing.

Sturgeon met apprentices at the AMRC and learn how the University of Sheffield is working with businesses to plug the UK skills gap and increase productivity in the advanced manufacturing sector. She also toured Factory 2050, over the border on the Sheffield Business Park, the world's first fully-reconfigurable, digital factory for collaborative research, to find out how smart factories operating cyber-physical systems will help to deliver the fourth industrial revolution: Industry 4.0.

The Scottish Government plans to create a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to shape the future of manufacturing and innovation in Scotland.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) 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.

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The AMRC includes a £20.5m training centre on the AMP which focuses on students aged from 16 upwards, taken on paid apprenticeships. 650 apprentices are expected to make use of the state of the art facilities in Rotherham during this academic year. The focus is on students aged from 16 upwards, taken on paid apprenticeships with opportunities to progress on to postgraduate courses, doctorates and MBA levels.

The First Minister called the AMRC an "impressive facility" and went on to reference the visit in her major speech in Sheffield addressing the state of the economy following the EU Referendum result. She said: "It's a magnificent facility. It demonstrates how much potential there still is in high value manufacturing on these islands. But it is likely that our manufacturing and export industries will suffer if they are outside the single market."

Keith Ridgeway, director of University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing, said he was delighted to invite Nicola Sturgeon to the centre and added that it was a great opportunity for AMRC apprentices to show their work to Scotland's First Minister.

AMRC website

Images: First Minister / twitter


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