Thursday, August 16, 2018

News: Caps off to AMRC Training Centre’s first foundation degree graduates


The first cohort of students from the AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham have received their foundation degrees.

The £20.5m centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham focuses 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.

Launching foundation degrees, which can be delivered as part of a Higher Apprenticeship, the aim was to provide the manufacturing industry with the higher skilled employees it desperately needs. The foundation could lead to a BEng degree after a further year of part time study.

Samuel Ferguson, 25, Sam Forester, 21, Alexandra Smith, 24, and Tom Kaye, 24, are the first to achieve the foundation degree in engineering qualification delivered by the AMRC Training Centre.

Samuel, Alexandra and Sam followed the Mechanical Manufacture pathway while Tom pursued Manufacturing Technology.

They were among hundreds of learners honoured at graduation ceremonies hosted by the University of Sheffield recently.


Louise Cowling, head of degree apprenticeships at the AMRC Training Centre, attended the ceremony and praised the students' talent and tenacity to achieve.

She said: "The students graduating have risen to the challenge of combining work and study. This not only tests the students' academic ability but also their dedication and commitment to their academic progress and career.

"We are incredibly proud of Tom, Samuel, Alexandra and Sam. They have earned their foundation degrees through commitment, perseverance and dedication. This hasn’t been easy to achieve as full-time employees with responsibilities in their workplaces.

"There is emerging evidence of a positive impact on students' future prospects, including promotions and further employment opportunities as a result of their academic study, not least because the programmes include industrially authentic assessments.

"We are delighted that graduation affords our graduates the opportunity to receive their degree with their families and employers – to share their achievement with those who have supported and helped them along the way.

"We hope that Tom, Samuel, Alexandra and Sam will be the first of many more graduates combining employment and learning as part of our degree apprenticeship programmes."

Graduate Tom Kaye, who works for Arconic Forgings and Extrusions in Sheffield, is planning to continue his studies with the AMRC Training Centre.

After the ceremony he said: "It's been a really great experience and it was good to feel a part of the university and have that academic achievement recognised. It feels very good. The two years have been worth it."

Eleven students are now pursuing the top up degree delivered at the centre and they will hand in a final project at the end of August, graduating next summer with a full BEng.

The degree apprenticeship programme has been designed in partnership with academic staff and employers to ensure students can graduate equipped to meet the current and future needs of the advanced manufacturing sector and there are three types of foundation degrees to choose from: Mechanical Manufacture, Manufacturing Technology and Maintenance Engineering.

AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC


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