Friday, August 30, 2019

News: Education secretary "hugely impressed" by AMRC apprentices


Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has highlighted the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) as a "brilliant example" of how a leading university can collaborate with industry to boost skills and jobs.

During a recent visit to the AMRC, Mr Williamson saw how it is using cutting-edge technology to drive innovations in manufacturing, while offering high-quality technical training to help boost skills and jobs in key sectors like science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Growing on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It is a partnership between industry and academia, which has become a model for research centres worldwide.

The MP took a tour of the AMRC's Factory 2050 - a state-of-the-art facility on Sheffield Business Park that sees global powerhouses such as Boeing and McLaren Automotive, as well as smaller local employers, use advanced technologies like robotics and virtual reality to develop innovative manufacturing techniques.

The centre also provides high-quality apprenticeship training and higher education in engineering and manufacturing through the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre on the AMP in Rotherham, delivering the skills and pipeline of talent that top firms like Boeing need to compete globally.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, said: "It is absolutely vital that we continue to grow the nations' skills particularly in key areas like science, technology, engineering and maths so we have a workforce that is fit for the future. I am focused on making sure this is a priority area for this government.

"I've been hugely impressed by what I have seen here today at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. What they are doing here is a brilliant example of how one of our top universities is collaborating with global firms like Boeing as well as smaller employers to boost skills and jobs across the region.

"I would like to see more collaborations like this across the country."


The AMRC Training Centre provides training in the practical and academic skills that manufacturing companies need to compete globally, from apprenticeship through to doctorate and MBA level.

On the visit, Mr Williamson met with AMRC Training Centre apprentices from local companies and from Boeing's European production facility in Sheffield, seeing first-hand how their training is giving them the skills they need to forge great careers in the region.

He also tried out some of the impressive technologies on show at the AMRC, including virtual reality simulations used to train workers and augmented reality for capturing data.

Chris Greaves, Head of the Integrated Manufacturing Group at the University of Sheffield AMRC, said: "We are very grateful for the Secretary of State's support on apprenticeships. Our success is down to our people and apprentices are very much key to that for us. We've been delighted with the apprentices that have come to us through the AMRC Training Centre.

"To invest more heavily in apprenticeships - to get the right skill sets into manufacturing - is not only important to us and the region but it's very important to the UK economy and manufacturing as a whole."

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "We were delighted to show the Education Secretary how our outstanding research translates into world class manufacturing capabilities and how we are working with our industrial and regional partners to develop the skills that businesses need.

"We were particularly pleased to show the full breadth of what we have to offer - including apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses - and how they all contribute to an evolving education ecosystem."

AMRC Training Centre

Images: AMRC


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