AMRC Training Centre beats targets and steps up drive to find tomorrows manufacturing leaders

Apprentices have been queueing up to secure places and study more subjects at the award-winning AMRC Training Centre.

The Centre is set to exceed recruitment targets when the final group for 2014/15 arrives in mid-March, bringing the total for the preceding 12 months to 250 and raising the number of apprentices in full or part time training to 410.

Whats more, apprentices have been staying on after their courses have finished to learn additional skills.

“A lot have asked to study additional modules – more than we expected,” says AMRC Training Centre Director of Training, Alison Bettac.

“We have got 50 staying beyond the standard 26 weeks, which shows companies are buying into this model of training for their apprentices.”

Machining continues to be the most popular subject, confirming the results of the manufacturing skills strategy survey for the Sheffield City Region, which identified a significant need for new machinists to meet existing and increasing skills shortages as current machinists reach retirement age.

Meanwhile, the AMRC Training Centre is continuing to raise awareness of the opportunities available in engineering, which, in its case, span everything from advanced apprenticeships to undergraduate and post graduate studies and continuing professional development.

The Centre is planning a series of ‘Summer Camps for pupils from local schools, from June to the end of August.

Thanks to support from aerospace giant Boeing and the Princes Trust, this years Summer Camps will include three separate weeks of activities designed to open opportunities up for disadvantaged youngsters.

Most of the Summer Camps last two weeks and are packed with activities designed to build up the youngsters employability skills and help them to tackle design and manufacturing challenges, including training on Virtual Reality welding machines and 3D printers.

“We are already getting bookings from both parents and schools,” says Alison Bettac. “A lot of parents want their children to come along.

“Taking part in one of the Summer Camps doesnt just help young people improve their employability and interview skills.

“It also lets them take away an example of what they can do, in the form of a component they have made by hand from engineering drawings, which many proudly show to potential employers when they attend interviews.”

While the Training Centre stages the Summer Camps, a team of its apprentices will be taking part in the annual Master Cutlers Challenge, trying to make as much money as they can for charity from an initial £50 investment.

Last year, Training Centre apprentices succeeded in raising more than £7,000 for the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust and Sheffield Hospitals Charity, the two charities to benefit from the Challenge, which is one of the largest charity fundraising events in the Sheffield region.

This year a new team will be aiming to beat that total, as they raise money for the Master Cutlers nominated charities. The principal beneficiary of the fundraising will be the Brathay Trust, whose work in Sheffield focuses on the health and well-being of young people. Help for Heroes and local charities will also receive Challenge funding.

AMRC Training Centre beats targets and steps up drive to find tomorrows manufacturing leaders

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