Pioneering training centre sees recruitment soar as more seize the opportunity to earn and learn
Record numbers of young people from the Sheffield City Region are seeking careers in advanced manufacturing and opting to earn as they learn by gaining places at the AMRC Training Centre.
More than 130 teenagers have secured jobs and signed up for advanced apprenticeships at the Catcliffe-based centre, which is part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
That compares with around 70 at this time last year and, with a further intake scheduled for this month (October), the AMRC Training Centre is confident that apprentice numbers will be up by 60 per cent or more at the start of the training year.
Numbers will rise even higher with further intakes planned for the new year to meet the needs of employers and to cater for young people who want to switch to more practical studies, while also earning a wage after discovering an A-Level course at school or college isnt for them.
The growth in numbers at the AMRC Training Centre wont stop there, now that the Centre has begun offering Foundation Degrees leading to University studies, combined with Higher Apprenticeships covering subjects such as manufacturing, maintenance, business improvement and inspection and testing.
City region companies will be supporting at least 20 existing Training Centre apprentices and newcomers with A-levels who will be learning skills that could lead on to supervisory and management roles with their employers and laying the foundations for degree level studies and, possibly, research.
Both groups will be starting out on foundation degrees, including a degree in Mechanical Manufacturing, which is unique to the Training Centre. The newcomers with A-Levels will also receive 25 weeks of training in the practical skills the existing apprentices have already acquires.
Training Centre head of operations, Kerry Featherstone, said: The growth in our numbers is really encouraging and important for an advanced manufacturing sector that desperately needs young recruits with high level skills to fill the gaps that are being created by retirement.
Companies are keen to recruit and we hope that our new recruits will spread the message that advanced manufacturing offers a secure, well paid career, with opportunities to gain degree level qualifications and above, without ending up in debt.
We also want to get the message across that opportunities in small companies arent any less than those in large organisations and they can be greater. Smaller firms often offer staff the chance to use a broader range of skills, increased potential for promotion and, even, global travel.