AMRC Training Centre helps jobless 22-year-old secure engineering apprenticeship

An initiative to help jobless youngsters improve their chance of finding work has come up trumps for 22-year-old Sam Jackson.

Sam was one of 15 out of work 20 to 25 year olds taking part in a JobCentre Plus employability programme which included a two week spell at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Training Centre.

The youngsters spent two weeks in the AMRC Training Centres workshop, getting a feel for what apprenticeships and engineering are all about, in addition to improving their interview, CV writing and personal skills with the Sheffield-based, employer-led Work-Wise Foundation .

Sam enjoyed his two weeks at the Training Centre so much that he decided to apply for an apprenticeship through the Centre.

“It was a really, really life changing opportunity and pointed me in the right direction,” says Sam, who had been planning a career in the public services while he was at college, until jobs opportunities in that sector dried up during the recession.

After working on his own car and tinkering with other mechanical projects, Sam wondered if something more practical might be for him, so he applied to join the JobCentre Plus employability programme.

“Two weeks at the AMRC Training Centre made my mind up. It was something I definitely wanted to do,” says Sam. “It was brilliant.”

After successfully attending one of the AMRC Training Centres rigorous assessment days he secured an interview with Darron SBO, the Rotherham-based precision machining specialist that makes hi-tech ‘downhole drilling tools for the oil industry.

“We saw four or five candidates and Sam definitely stood out,” says Darron SBOs Denis Smith.

“Engineering is all about passion. All the experienced machinists we have got on site have a passion about their work and a pride in what they do.

“Sam brought examples of the work he had done at the AMRC Training Centre, explained how he had made them and was glowing with pride for what he had achieved.”

Sam begins his Darron SBO sponsored AMRC apprenticeship next month and will begin working to secure a Level 2 NVQ in Performing Engineering Operations on the way to studying for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering as an Advanced Apprentice before joining Darron SBOs 80-strong shop floor workforce.

AMRC Training Centre head of operations, Kerry Featherstone, said: “We were delighted to be able to work with Jobcentre Plus and Work-Wise to give these young people an understanding of the opportunities that are available in engineering.

“Sams success shows that even if you left school some time ago and have been out of work for a while, you could still become an apprentice and work towards a career in the advanced manufacturing sector.

“We were able to run the two week engineering taster while our full time apprentices were taking a summer break. We hope to be able to repeat the exercise in future so that more people out of work and in their 20s can learn about the possibilities in engineering.”

AMRC Training Centre helps jobless 22-year-old secure engineering apprenticeship

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