Engineering the next generation

Engineering the next generation


The AMRC Training Centre based at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield provides advanced apprenticeship and degree-level training for companies in the advanced manufacturing sectors.

The Training Centre opened in Autumn 2013 and has a strong focus on encouraging more young people to follow careers in engineering.

Regarded as the ‘Centre of Excellence’ for apprenticeship and Continuous Professional Development delivery within the Yorkshire & Humber region, the state-of-the-art Training Centre offers the very best in practical and academic training. Working with employers, the Training Centre identifies and provides the skills that manufacturing companies need to compete globally, from apprenticeship through to doctorate and MBA level.

Making a difference to industry

Through the Training Centre, industry can access the next generation of young engineers who are learning the latest manufacturing skills to enable companies to develop their products and processes. Russell Fox is an AMRC apprentice that works at Sheffield-based automotive tools specialist Eldon Tools, where he learnt skills on manual milling, lathes and CNC (computer numerical control) machines i.e. using computers to control machine tools.

In 2015 Russell was named as the Boeing Apprentice of the Year. Russell said: “I have really enjoyed the freedom to learn that the Training Centre has given me. This has been reflected in my academic achievements this year. I am now keen to progress onto a foundation degree.”

Setting the standard in apprenticeships

Recently the Training Centre has gained National College status for Advanced Manufacturing, which has not only set the benchmark standards for the quality of its training, but is also opening up new pathways for young people to make the transition from school to a foundation degree in higher education. “Recently the Training Centre has been awarded funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to enable the development of a new Degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies which will open up new pathways for young people,” says Kerry Featherstone, Head of Operations at the Training Centre.

The success of the Training Centre has led government ministers and officials to base the new network on national colleges on the Training Centre’s model. “We are different because we began by working with a consortium of industrialists to develop our curriculum, and everything we do here is employer led,” added Kerry.

From the hexagonal benches arranged in manufacturing cells and the use of lean working, engineering principles and production meetings through to oversight from an active Industry Board, the Training Centre has a work-ready culture at its heart.

Dr Hamid Mughal, Director of Global Manufacturing, Rolls-Royce, speaking at the National Summit for Apprentices and Higher Vocational Education 2014 said:

“If I was 16 years old and I was given a hundred choices for careers, I would choose here every time. You cannot ask for a better environment than this for tomorrow’s engineers to create the complex, customer-oriented values and solutions for industry.”


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