AMRC Advanced Apprentice Visits Parliament
The University of Sheffield and colleagues from Sheffield Hallam University this week held an annual meeting with the region's MPs to talk about issues of concern around education, the economy and the needs of local people.
High on the agenda was vocational education and the need to provide young people from all backgrounds with first class training and the ability to progress onto degrees without incurring debt.
As well as the University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett, the MPs were joined by a local industrialist, former Minister for Trade and Industry Richard Caborn and Professor Keith Ridgway - Research Director of the AMRC.
To represent the AMRC apprentices, Russell Fox was also invited to attend.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett said,
"We met Russell when we were touring the AMRC Training Centre and were impressed, as we so often are with our apprentices, at his ability to explain clearly what he was learning and how his growing skills contributed to the ability of a company to meet the needs of customers and increase productivity. So we were delighted to ask him to join us to share with the region's MPS the very important work we are doing at The University of Sheffield to embed higher vocational education within the context of our world-class research with industry at the AMRC."
Russell works for Eldon Tools and is in his first year at the Training Centre. This was a big opportunity not only had he never been to the Houses of Parliament, but it was also his first visit to London and first time travelling by train!
At the event, Russell was able to share his own experiences and opinions about being an apprentice. He said,
"We discussed about apprentices having access to further education without having to take out loans and get into massive amounts of debt. By me attending the event, I believe that it was beneficial myself and the MPs to have the opportunity to discuss the future of apprentices and higher education. I also showed my concern and got the point across that apprentices aren't the easy way out of education, they are just a different style. In fact apprentices develop the practical and communication skills that some colleges fail to deliver.
The Parliamentary event was followed the next day by the National Summit on Apprentices and Higher Vocational Education hosted by The University of Sheffield at the AMRC. This event was also attended by AMRC apprentices who took part in a panel discussion with leading figures from industry and education. Other speakers included the Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable and Director of Global Manufacturing at Rolls-Royce, Hamid Mughal.
In his presentation to the invited audience, Hamid commented:
If I was 16 years old and I was given a hundred choices for careers, I would choose here every time. You cannot ask for a better environment for tomorrows engineers to create the complex, customer-oriented values and solutions for industry, the economy and for the UK than this environment.
Pictured is Russell with Keith Ridgway