Industrial chair for AMRC Training Centre
Vince Middleton, chair of Newburgh Engineering, has been appointed chair of the new AMRC Training Centre. The board met in the same week that the centre holds its first assessment day for would-be apprentices, and the first structural steelwork is erected for its new building.
The AMRC Training Centre board includes representatives from industrial partners who have worked together since 2008 to create a new approach to engineering training for the Sheffield city region. The board formally met for the first time on Tuesday 19 March at the AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre.
Vince Middleton says:
"It's an honour to chair the AMRC Training Centre. It's a landmark in the advanced manufacturing training scene in the region, and it's going to lead the way nationally. Having looked around a lot of other areas, I've seen that there are very few places that have got their act together in employer-led training. By focusing on industry as the customer, the AMRC Training Centre will create exceedingly good people who can go into companies and create wealth and jobs.
"At Newburgh, we've said for a long time that we need to either correct the ills of training, or plan a 20 year exit from manufacturing. One of the main reasons that manufacturers aren't able to grow is that they can't get enough skilled people. The UK advanced manufacturing sector has huge potential and is very well respected around the globe, but if we haven't got the people to do it then we lose out.
"We need exceedingly good people. We really need degree-capable apprentices, which is why the pathways through the Training Centre are critical. People can see it's a high-grade approach, and that helps change the perceptions about apprenticeships."
Newburgh Engineering is a progressive contract manufacturer with advanced production facilities in Rotherham and Bradwell, Derbyshire.
Other businesses represented on the Training Centre board include Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Tata Steel, Evenort, JRI Orthopaedics, Maher, MTL, Nikken and Polypipe.
Alison Bettac, AMRC training director, says:
"I'm delighted to welcome Vince as chair of the AMRC Training Centre. As with our established research centres, we are led by our industrial partners, ensuring that everything we do is bringing real value to UK manufacturers.
"Apprentices and students coming to the AMRC Training Centre can be sure that they will be learning the skills they need to forge a rewarding career in some of the world's most exciting and innovative industries."
The AMRC Training Centre held its first engineering & manufacturing assessment day for potential apprentices this week (Monday 18th March). These events are for would-be apprentices who have made an initial application online, and feature an intensive series of interviews and team activities, plus tests of literacy, numeracy, mechanical reasoning and manual dexterity. Successful candidates will go on to further interviews with potential employers.
Construction of the AMRC Training Centre's new 5500 sq m building is also progressing rapidly, with the first steelwork erected this week. The building will open in the autumn.
The AMRC Training Centre is developing a range of innovative training programmes tailored to the requirements of the UK's high-value manufacturing industry. Last month, it launched the New Apprenticeship Pathways programme in partnership with the Manufacturing Technologies Association. The three-year Pathway combines advanced engineering training with applied business skills.