Wednesday, June 24, 2015

News: Vice-chancellor speaks up in defence of Rotherham


Professor Sir Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, has highlighted how the University's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) is driving forward innovation in manufacturing and how the AMRC Training Centre is creating opportunities for young people and benefiting industry.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, the AMRC is a world-class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value sectors.

In a comment piece for The Yorkshire Post, the vice-chancellor, a member of the Prime Minister's advisory Council on Science and Technology, discussed the negative image that Rotherham has, stating that: "We must believe in the possibility of change, the potential of young people everywhere and the possibility of healing in a community."

Burnett believes that the AMRC is one thing that gives him hope for the future of Rotherham. He said: "In Rotherham, on the site of the Orgreave miners' conflict, three decades later something extraordinary has happened. The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre is a university-owned innovation district with over 100 industrial partners carrying out state of the art research. It is a high-tech "skunk works" for industry large and small to be able to finesse manufacturing ideas, make breakthroughs in production which gain orders and create jobs. A national facility, it draws admirers from around the world.

"It is also home to the UK's most prestigious advanced manufacturing apprentice training centre. Companies need more than high-tech research. They want skills to match. The AMRC now has 600 young people at various stages in an advanced apprenticeship which offers routes to manufacturing engineering degrees and beyond.

"I know these young people. They are the talented, bright-eyed children of Rotherham and South Yorkshire. They are every bit as able as the children of Oxfordshire. But for them to reclaim and shape their own futures they need opportunity, employment, education."
Youth charity The Prince's Trust, aerospace giant Boeing and the AMRC Training Centre have recently joined forces to help develop young people's professional skills in the area of advanced manufacturing. The Prince's Trust "Get Started with Product Design" five day training programme aims to give young people from across the region a flavour of what it takes to be an apprentice and embark on a rewarding career in manufacturing.

This pilot programme, to take place in July, is aimed at young people aged 16 to 25 who are not in education, training or employment and has been made possible as part of Boeing’s extensive programme of community engagement initiatives.

Kerry Featherstone, head of operations at the AMRC Training Centre, said: "Our aim, from the very start, has been to bridge the manufacturing skills gap while promoting social mobility by being as open and inclusive as possible.

"This is another step on the road to ensuring young people are able to make the most of their potential, despite the barriers they currently may face."

AMRC website
AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC / University of Sheffield


Anonymous,  July 10, 2015 at 9:08 PM  

Mr 315,000£ seems to use the Rotherham sad story to build a free ad for his neoliberal college (and to remind to all of us he comes from Oxfordshire). What happened, did happen <\b>in spite of<\b> his manufacturing centre

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