Business secretary praises University of Sheffields delivery of higher apprenticeships
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid met young apprentices during a visit to the University of Sheffield Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) in Rotherham today (Thursday 19 May 2016).
Mr Javid praised the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centres new Foundation Degree in Manufacturing Technology developed with employers that aims to provide young people with the skills of the future, while in employment and avoiding major debt.
Secretary of State for Business, Sajid Javid said: We introduced degree apprenticeships so that young people across the country have a real alternative to a traditional university degree, while helping UK businesses develop the skills they need to grow.
For too long, ambitious school leavers have been told that university was their only option, but that isnt the case anymore. Top class apprenticeships that include degrees like those being offered at the University of Sheffield mean our young people have a choice about their future.
The University is already one of the first in higher education to offer quality advanced manufacturing Foundation, Undergraduate and Masters degrees using the apprenticeship model jointly funded with businesses.
Professor Keith Ridgway, Executive Dean of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) said: "To compete in a global economy it is essential that our engineers of the future have a wide range of generic skills in addition to core engineering competencies.
This course ensures students gain a balanced knowledge and understanding in the context of engineering manufacture with the right mix of academic and vocational learning.
The Business Secretary made his comments during a visit to the Universitys Nuclear AMRC. He spent time learning more about the research taking place into the development of small modular reactors.
Small modular reactors are compact nuclear power plants which could play a vital role in the UK energy market.
A study by the Nuclear AMRC determined that Westinghouses use of UK advanced manufacturing techniques offers a potential 50 per cent reduction in delivery lead times and offers substantial cost savings to SMR manufacturing.
Mike Tynan, Chief Executive at the Nuclear AMRC said: The Nuclear AMRC is already helping SMR technology vendors in the UK to design for manufacture and is able to take component design for SMR through to full-scale manufacture.
A full-scale UK-built SMR prototype, built in Sheffield, would be a significant step in securing a UK nuclear technology that could lead to volume export business and help secure our energy future.