Monday, March 5, 2012

News: Government committee to visit Rotherham


The government's Business, Innovation and Skills Committee are visiting Rotherham this week as part of its major inquiry into apprenticeships.

During the visit, members of the cross-party committee — which is tasked with scrutinising the work of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills — will undertake a visit to the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC) in Rotherham.

The committee will also visit Sheffield Forgemasters and host a session at the AMRC on the Advanced Manufacturing Park to discuss the approach to apprenticeships taken by local manufacturers, including Rotherham companies, Newburgh Engineering and AESSEAL.

The committee is looking into the success of the National Apprenticeship Service, government funding and incentives for apprenticeships and higher level apprenticeships.

This week's visit will be the first ever Commons Select Committee evidence gathering session to be held outside London.

Adrian Bailey MP, chairman of the committee, said: "Apprenticeships can help equip young people throughout the UK with the skills necessary to drive forward broad and sustained economic growth, spread across a range of sectors and across the entire country.

"If the Committee's inquiry is to have the desired effect, we need to look at what is working and where the current structure is falling short, not only for companies running apprenticeship schemes but for apprentices themselves.

"Sheffield is home to a number of significant organisations and employers offering innovative and meaningful apprenticeship schemes.

"This visit will allow the Committee to gain first-hand experience of how these schemes are operating in practice and takes evidence from a wide range of interested parties."

The AMRC are planning a £20.5m training centre for advanced manufacturing that will focus on high-level apprentice training, concentrating on sectors such as aerospace, energy and Formula One.

From next autumn, over 200 apprentices will enter the centre each year, where they will receive nine to 12 months of intensive skills training.

Up to six apprentices are taken on at the AMRC each year. The apprenticeship programme has been running for five years and so far 11 have completed the programme. One is working in industry and the other ten are working as technicians and engineers within the AMRC and Nuclear AMRC.

Local companies have also been working together on the Workwise programme, developed by Business & Education South Yorkshire and a partnership of local manufacturing and engineering companies in response to their concerns that not enough young people are attracted to the sector as well as not having the basic work ready skills to take up apprenticeships and jobs.

BIS committee website
AMRC website



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