AMRC's award winning training centre secures vote of confidence from Government

11 December 2014

Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable has unveiled plans for a new National College for Advanced Manufacturing, jointly headquartered at the AMRC's award-winning Training Centre in South Yorkshire and in Coventry.

Dr Cable made the announcement during a visit to the AMRC Training Centre's facilities today (Thursday December 11), when he also revealed the Centre has secured National College status.

He said: "Economic growth is underpinned by technological innovation, a strong manufacturing sector and scientific excellence. The UK can no longer afford to lag behind countries like France and Germany, which have invested heavily in technical skills at the highest level for generations.

"This new facility puts Sheffield and its surrounding area at the heart our nationwide drive to create the high-wage, high-skilled jobs of the future. It will give young people the opportunity to access the best industry-led training as well as help local firms attract the talent they need to grow their business."

The announcement means the AMRC Training Centre will become a key part of the UK's new National College for Advanced Manufacturing, which will be based at several hubs around the country and will aim to identify the needs of industry and develop training provision to meet those needs.

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult and the manufacturers' organisation, the EEF, are to work with Government to agree the detailed organisational structure for National College of Advanced Manufacturing.

Prof Keith Ridgway CBE, Executive Dean of the AMRC, said: "I am delighted that the new High Value Manufacturing training initiative builds on the success of the Catapult and look forward to working with the other centres to make this a great success."

Centre Director of Training, Alison Bettac, said: "We are grateful to Dr Cable for this vote of confidence in our strategy of creating employer led training that enables young people who would never have considered going to university to gain a job, practical skills and a potential route into higher education.

"It is a massive opportunity for us to increase our presence in new sectors and offer them the level of quality and provision we already offer to the aerospace, nuclear, oil, gas and other advanced manufacturing sectors."

Dick Elsy, Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, said the continuing growth of high value manufacturing depended on developing new breakthrough technologies and that required an increasing number of people with the right skills.

"The High Value Manufacturing Catapult is at the forefront of the development of new manufacturing technologies and as such, we are extremely well-placed to develop and deliver the kind of skills training that meets current and future industry demand," Mr Elsy added.

The AMRC Training Centre has plans to grow the number of apprentices it is training and expand into new areas. These will include process control engineering, polymers, automation and robotics for food manufacturing and electronics and instrument control, which supports the strategic partnership with the new HS2 railway engineering college being set up in Doncaster.

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The Centre also hopes to run short courses for up to 650 people a year, including CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses, and to introduce higher education courses ranging from foundation to Masters degrees.

News that the AMRC Training Centre has gained National College Status comes less than two months after HRH the Duke of York officially opened the AMRC Training Centre and weeks after it won the Times Higher Education Outreach Award.

The Award was presented to the Centre for creating a blueprint for bridging the manufacturing skills gap and promoting social mobility at the same time.

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