Wednesday, September 13, 2017

News: Local apprentices flying the flag for Boeing

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17 young apprentices from across the region found themselves centre stage when Boeing bosses flew to Sheffield for a ground-breaking event to signal the construction of their first ever production plant in Europe.

The new 66,000 sq ft Boeing Sheffield facility, due to open in late 2018, is situated alongside the University of Sheffield's Factory 2050 on the Sheffield Business Park (SBP), ironically for a factory making advanced parts for airplanes, at the end of where the runway once was at Sheffield's former airport.

Announced in February, the new facility will enable Boeing to bring the manufacture of key high-tech actuation components and systems used in the Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft in-house, enhancing production efficiency and reducing costs.

Boeing also plans a major research and development programme with the university's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied to the Boeing Sheffield facility and then implemented across Boeing internationally.

Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland, said the company was proud to celebrate the ground-breaking of Boeing Sheffield and welcome more employees to the company.

He said: "Boeing Sheffield is further evidence of Boeing’s long-term commitment to the prosperity of this country. We are grateful to the communities of Sheffield and Rotherham, as well as Sheffield City Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership, for supporting Boeing Sheffield and our growing presence in the region."

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When it opens, Boeing Sheffield will produce as many as 8,000 components per month that will be shipped to Boeing Portland, another Boeing Fabrication site in Oregon, USA to be assembled into actuation systems.

The Sheffield facility will initially employ 30 people on opening, growing to more than 50 employees. This includes 19 manufacturing apprentices, who have already been recruited and are being trained at the AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham.

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. Apprentices have opportunities to progress on to postgraduate courses, doctorates and MBA levels and sponsoring companies range from global leaders such as Rolls-Royce and Tata Steel to local high-tech supply-chain companies.

Professor Keith Ridgway, founder and executive dean of the AMRC said: "The ground-breaking today is an important event not only for Boeing, but for the AMRC, the University of Sheffield and the city region.

"It is the culmination of a partnership that began 16 years ago, and the realisation of a vision that one day we would see a Boeing manufacturing plant built in our region and employing skilled and talented local people."

"This symbolic event confirms that the Sheffield City Region is fast becoming the leading location in Europe for investment in high-value, advanced manufacturing. We look forward to supporting Boeing with a research and development programme that will bolster their manufacturing activities in the UK."

Boeing UK website
AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC / Boeing


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