Training Centre secures government funding

31 October 2011

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI) has secured government backing for a new Training Centre aimed at closing the skills gap for high-value manufacturing companies.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has awarded £9.2 million from the Regional Growth Fund to establish the centre, which will provide training for companies along the supply chain in high-value manufacturing sectors.

The AMI Training Centre will provide training in the practical and academic skills that manufacturing companies need to compete globally, from apprenticeship through to Doctorate and MBA level.

The AMI Training Centre will focus on high-level apprentice training, concentrating on sectors such as aerospace, energy and Formula One.

Young people entering the AMI Training Centre will embark on a lifetime of learning that can take them through specialised technician training, part-time undergraduate and Masters study, to Executive MBA and Engineering Doctorate study, all within the same institution.

Over 200 apprentices will enter the AMI Training Centre each year, where they will receive nine to 12 months of intensive skills training. The training schedule will be guided by the AMI's industrial partners and participating companies.

Sheffield Hallam University will deliver part-time BEng programme, while the University of Sheffield will deliver part-time MSc, MBA, Executive MBA and EngD programmes.

Professor Keith Ridgway OBE, Executive Dean of Manufacturing at the AMI, said: "We are delighted that the government is supporting us in this initiative. It will encourage more manufacturing companies to employ young people, with the confidence that they are receiving the world class skills training they need to compete in today's advanced manufacturing sectors."

Tony Pedder, Pro Chancellor and Chair of the AMI, said: "This is great news for manufacturing, particularly in the local region. The University's AMI Training Centre will equip the next generation of manufacturers with world-class advanced manufacturing skills, something that will provide a real boost to growth."

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "It's wonderful that the University of Sheffield AMRC is able to drive forward regional economic growth through this initiative, by continuing to add to the city's advanced manufacturing expertise. The AMI Training Centre will ensure that a wide range of young people can develop skills in advanced manufacturing from an apprenticeship level through to a Doctorate and MBA, providing them with a strong platform from which to launch their careers in the advanced manufacturing sector."

The AMI Training Centre will be based in a new 5,000 sq m building, to be situated close to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC) and the Nuclear AMRC. It will open for business in September 2013. Total costs for establishing the Training Centre are £20.5 million, with the remainder coming from participating companies and other funding streams.