AMRC Training Centre wins prestigious educational award

The University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre has won the prestigious Widening Participation Initiative award at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2014.

The Widening Participation Initiative award reflects the exceptional achievements of the first full annual cohort of 250 advanced apprentices employed by high value manufacturing companies within the purpose built state-of-the-art Training Centre.

The apprentices are employed by manufacturing companies keen to benefit from the high-quality training in the practical and academic skills that manufacturing companies need to compete globally. Companies that work with the Training Centre range from global leaders such as Rolls-Royce and TATA to local high-tech supply-chain companies.

On completion of their apprenticeship, apprentices can progress to undergraduate study in engineering up to doctorate and MBA level through the University of Sheffield.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: "I am thrilled that the work of the University of Sheffield and in particular our AMRC Training Centre on advanced vocational education has been acknowledged with this wonderful award.

"Our apprentices show what is possible when universities and companies come together to address real skills needs in the context of world-class research.

"To be praised for our support of early careers researchers is a fantastic accolade which highlights the University's backing of individual career ambitions."

AMRC Training Centre Director of Training, Alison Bettac, said: “We are delighted to win the Widening Participation Initiative of the Year Award.

“We believe we have created a blueprint for bridging the manufacturing skills gap and promoting social mobility at the same time. Many of the Training Centre apprentices would never have considered going to university.

“In addition to getting a high-quality vocational education, skills and access to employment, they are also taking the first step on a road that could lead to undergraduate and post graduate degree courses, funded by their employers.

“Our apprentices tell us they value being employed. They also say that if they do go on to study for a degree, having a ready-made understanding of how industry works gives them a sound foundation for their studies."

AMRC Training Centre wins prestigious educational award

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