Covid-19 apprentice support

The following information is for AMRC Training Centre apprentices who may have concerns about the novel coronavirus (also known as Covid-19). 
You can find the latest information about the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus (also known as Covid-19) here >

Please remember the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

From Monday 16 March 2020 face-to-face teaching was temporarily suspended at the AMRC Training Centre, we have now moved all teaching online. To help apprentices with this transition we have put together some frequently asked questions about learning online below. Apprentices neededing further support accessing online learning, please contact the digital learning helpdesk digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk.

We understand this is a difficult time for apprentices and there is support available for them and their families, which we have included links to below. Apprentices can email the learner support team at the AMRC Training Centre with any questions or concerns about the current situation studentsupport@sheffield.ac.uk.


Frequently asked questions

Accessing online learning

Blackboard is where students can access course information and will be the main area for online learning. 

The University of Sheffield has put together a ‘how to’ guide to help students access Blackboard > 

Please note you will need your University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre ‘me’ number, i.e. ab1me1 to access Blackboard. Students’ passwords are the same as the ones used to log in at the AMRC Training Centre.

You can access Blackboard directly through this link if the University of Sheffield website/MUSE is ever under maintenance or you are having trouble accessing it: https://vle.shef.ac.uk/

Blackboard App
Students can now access Blackboard through an app on their phone. Here is more information on how to download the Blackboard App>

Tip: Allow notifications from the Blackboard App and keep up to date with the latest announcements regarding specific student courses. 

There may be times we ask students to use Blackboard Collaborate to join in with a class and tutor.

Here are the ‘how to’ pages to help students access Blackboard Collaborate >

If students are having problems accessing Blackboard Collaborate, use the Trainer/ Tutor Contacts to get in touch with a member of the team who will help you. 

University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre students have access to Google Drive where you can save your documents. 

The University of Sheffield have put together an online guide to Google Docs here>

As part of registration with the AMRC Training Centre, students will have been pre-registered with The University of Sheffield for an IT account. To find out your login details, you will need access to your personal email account or mobile phone which was used during pre-registration.

Here is a 'how to' guide on accessing student IT provision>

Apprentices can forward their University of Sheffield mailbox to their work/personal mailbox. They will have to set this up from home or a non-work devices if their employer is actively blocking Google Mail.

To forward emails from their University Gmail account apprentices will need to:

  • Log on to MUSE with their University credentials
  • From 'My services' on the top banner, select 'Google Mail'
  • In google mail select the cog wheel in the top right of the browser and choose the settings option
  • In the top of the settings page select the 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP' settings option
  • Click the 'Add forwarding address' button and enter the new email address you would like your University emails to go to
  • Click the 'Next' button. A confirmation email will be sent to the chosen email address with a confirmation code
  • Follow the link in the email and confirm the forward by clicking the verify button
  • Logout of google mail
  • Logout of MUSE. 

Apprentices can access Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint for free using their University of Sheffield email address. 

Here are the instructions on how to download Microsoft Office> 

If you are having problems accessing these products please contact 

University IT Services Helpdesk on 0114 222 1111 or 
it-servicedesk@sheffield.ac.uk.

Work that is stored on the J:\ Drive can now be accessed from home. However, please save all current and future work on Google Drive, or on a memory stick if you are having trouble accessing Google Drive, as the AMRC Training Centre drive has a limited capacity and you may not be able to access it at all times. 

To access the J:\ drive

In order to access your AMRC Training Centre Personal J:\ drive during the lockdown, you need to make use of both your University and AMRC user accounts to create the ‘pathway’ via the University VPN service to your personal folders from your home computer.


1. Enable your University VPN (virtual private networking) account. To enable your account
start by resetting your VPN password here via option 3 to generate an automatic email to
your University email account with your ‘new’ VPN password. You will need to enter your
University account (me?nn???) and password to gain access to this reset service – contact
University IT services (see below for numbers) if you cannot remember these details.


2. Ensure you are not logged into any personal Google accounts (Gmail, Facebook, Youtube
etc. or use a ‘private’ browser session if your browser supports it) and Login to Muse at
www.sheffield.ac.uk using your University account (me?nn???) via the Muse entry at the
top left of the screen. Once logged in select the MyServices option followed by Google
Mail
dropdown entry to retrieve the email containing the VPN password you will need
shortly. Copy the password to use shortly.


3. Setup your VPN following the instructions for your home computer type and operating
system on https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/it... using your University account
(me?nn???) and the retrieved new VPN password from the email in your University email
account.


4. If you need to load Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.) these are
available for learner personal devices from the University here.


Any problems with any of the above steps should be addressed to the University IT Services
helpdesk on (0114) 222 1111 or via their electronic form here and not the AMRC IT team who
have no jurisdiction over these University services!


5. Only once you have successfully completed all the above steps 1-3 and established a VPN
connection can you attempt to access AMRC Training Centre personal drives.


6. You can now navigate to your personal folder. On a windows based computer open a file
explorer window or My Computer window and entering the following UNC path in the top
window \\fstc.ami.shef.ac.uk\Apprentices\homes\{username} - replacing {username}
with your own userid (me?nn???).


7. This will then prompt for your AMRC computer logon account (which must have the
@ami.shef.ac.uk suffix added)
and computer password to give a user id in the form
me?nn???@ami.shef.ac.uk Other computer operating systems will have similar ‘drive
mapping’ options. Once the credentials are accepted your AMRC personal drive should
be displayed with your personal folders and files accessible.


For any issues mapping to your personal drive the AMRC IT Technicians may be able to
assist and can be contacted on 0114 215 8100 or email itsupport@amrc.co.uk (only if you
have successfully completed steps 1-3 inclusive).



Apprenticeship information

You may have seen the University of Sheffield has updated its semester timetable, with the current semester ending on Friday, March 20, 2020. This does not affect timetables at the AMRC Training Centre, we are continuing to operate to the key dates timetable that was sent out in September 2019.

Students can find all the AMRC Training Centre key dates, including shutdown dates, online here.

The holiday/shutdown dates are the only times the AMRC Training Centre will be closed. Students are expected to access online learning as normal outside of these times.

We have moved learning online and live online delivery is now fully underway. For the majority of sessions, this will take place via Blackboard Collaborate. Full instructions will be provided on the HE Hub here.

There will be no double teaching of sessions and we will follow the Group B timetable for first and second years. 

Access to the Collaborate sessions and further information for each module can be found on the individual Blackboard module sites.

All scheduled lab-based sessions have been postponed. We will inform you of rescheduled dates as and when more information becomes available. Kathryn Jackson will provide more information on the summative assessment for AMR132.

AMR124 summative assessment on Wednesday is postponed. Joe Palmer will contact you with further information.

For all other module information please review the Blackboard page.

For any technical issues, please contact Ian Loasby, i.loasby@amrc.co.uk

HNC teaching is now being delivered live online. For the majority of sessions, this will take place via Blackboard Collaborate. Full instructions will be provided on the HE Hub here.

Sessions will be run using Blackboard Collaborate within each Modules' Blackboard page. 

Students will need a laptop or computer, headphones and access to Blackboard. 

Students can access the online classes from work (if employer security firewalls allow) or from home if they have broadband access.

If you encounter restricted access problems due to firewall issues, please discuss this with your employer.

For any technical issues, please contact Ian Loasby, i.loasby@amrc.co.uk

We have now moved to remote access learning and online delivery. Students will be expected to study on the same day as their timetable but do this by engaging with the learning materials on Blackboard. 

Groups will be created this week to allow all learners to access the correct units but please contact us for instructions if needed.

For any technical issues, please contact Ian Loasby, i.loasby@amrc.co.uk

Students currently on block release in the workshop will be contacted directly by each groups' current trainer. Work will be set via Blackboard which links in-centre learning to work being carried out in employment. Individual trainers can be contacted for further work to be set.

Our next enrichment session topic is healthy living which you can access via Blackboard. Link to enrichment page on blackboard >

Next session:
Machining 1 & 2 - 8am Friday, March 27, 2020

Reviews and assessment in the workplace will continue remotely and your assessor will be in touch with you all individually to arrange this.

Learner support

The single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:

  • Food: do you have a way to get food delivered?
  • Cleaning: are your cleaning supplies stocked up?
  • Money: can you budget for any higher bills or expenses? Will you save money from lower transport costs that you could spend elsewhere?
  • Work: can you work from home or not? If not, what are your rights to payment or benefits?
  • Medication: do you have enough medication, or a way to get more?
  • Health: can you reorganise any planned therapy or treatments?
  • Commitments: can someone else help you care for any dependants, walk your dog, or take care of any other commitments?
  • Connectivity: have you checked the contact details of the people you see regularly, like their phone numbers or email addresses?

Here are our tips on how to keep yourself well and happy during the lockdown period:

  • Stay in contact with friends and family via social media and video calling
  • Set some time aside to catch up on all your academic work each day
  • Go for a walk, walk your dog or spend time with pets
  • Limit your exposure to social media scaremongering, read only reliable sources
  • Help an elderly neighbour by leaving some groceries at their door
  • Watch your favourite film or box set. Binge watch something new and uplifting!
  • Talk to others and share your thoughts and feelings
  • Wash your hands more frequently and for twenty seconds, shower frequently, keep cloths and surfaces clean
  • Attend an online fitness class - Joe Wicks is offering free workouts via his YouTube channel for example

The Mental Health Foundation have advised on how to look after your mental health at this unsettling time:

View the advice here>

Our learner support team, who have expertise in dealing with mental health, are on hand to talk to if you are struggling. If you would like to speak to a member of the team, email safeguarding@amrc.co.uk or call 07548 153370.

For more information, contact details and free external helplines, go to our Mental Wellbeing page.

For many, food and other necessities have become more difficult to obtain, both physically in the shops and financially, due to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Here is a list of food banks available to you if you are struggling during this time:

List of Sheffield food banks.

List of Rotherham food banks.

List of Doncaster food banks.

List of Chesterfield food banks.

List of Barnsley food banks.

List of Leeds North & West food banks.

List of Leeds South & East food banks.

Apprentices can also register with Amazon Prime Student for six months, for free. This gives you access to Amazon Prime Now, where you can browse Amazon Prime Now or a local shop and get food and household essentials delivered to your door on the same day (please note that there may be a delay at the moment).


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