Tuesday, December 13, 2016

News: Local SMEs take on first AMRC apprentices

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Thanks to a generous donation from Harworth Group and Sheffield Business Park, four new apprentices have started their training at the AMRC Training Centre at Waverley in Rotherham.

The AMRC Training Centre is a £20.5m centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) 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. Sponsoring companies range from global leaders such as Rolls-Royce and Tata Steel to local high-tech supply-chain companies.

The new apprentices have been employed by small and medium sized enterprises (SME) from the local region that wanted to grow their business, but had never employed an apprentice through the AMRC Training Centre before.

Harworth Group and Sheffield Business Park made this possible by donating prize money from a Lambert Smith Hampton Enterprise Award presented to them last year for demonstrating how the proposed Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District across the region will make the most of the Government's devolution programme.

They generously matched the £15,000 prize money to create a £30,000 fund to enable local young people that are not in education, employment or training, to get apprenticeships with local advanced manufacturers and a place at the AMRC Training Centre

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The fund has now achieved its aim to give a total of eight SMEs who might not have otherwise been able to afford to train an apprentice, financial support by funding half of the apprentices' wages in the first year and covering training costs.

The apprentices were employed to undertake the AMRC Training Centre's "Flexible Apprenticeship Programme", launched in March 2016 and tailored exclusively to meet the needs of small businesses.

Delivering the same high-quality training as the established full-time 25 week model, the apprentices receive intensive masterclasses staggered over a period of 16 weeks. The programme is valuable to SMEs as it allows the apprentice to be with their employer for several weeks at a time in between training; contributing to the performance of the business from the start.

Iain Thomson, group communications & partnerships manager at Harworth Group, said: "This is the core of what the AMRC does so well – delivering the pipeline of skilled workers required to deliver the UK's long-term economic growth. We're delighted that eight young people have the chance to make their mark in one of the UK's leading industries, backed by a world-leading University like Sheffield."

Marc Rhodes from the AMRC Training Centre, added: "The incredible opportunity from Harworth Group and Sheffield Business Park is helping fund a new generation of engineers who may not have considered an apprenticeship, to gain qualifications to help them on their way to an exciting career within advanced manufacturing."

Harworth Group website
AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC Training Centre


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