Report on science teaching highlights the work of the AMRC Training Centre

14 October 2015

The work of the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre has been highlighted in a new report on employer involvement in the teaching of 'STEM' subjects - Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics - in higher education.

Apprentices learning engineering skills on the shop floor at the AMRC Training Centre.

The Training Centre is one of six organisations featured in the report, 'Mind the Gap: Engaging employers to secure the future of STEM in higher education,' based on research commissioned by University Alliance on behalf of the University of Lincoln.

The report spotlights the AMRC Training Centre's success in widening access to high-level training, which led to it winning a top award for bridging the manufacturing skills gap whilst promoting social mobility.

It says the Centre provides "a unique model combining work based further and higher education in an internationally-leading research centre, embedded in an advanced manufacturing workplace environment."

The report adds: "Employers value this form of collaboration as it combines innovation and knowledge transfer, with education and training for employees and potential future recruits. Graduates go on to regenerate the pool of highly-skilled workers in the advanced manufacturing sectors."

The AMRC Training Centre recently began offering Foundation Degrees leading to University studies, combined with Higher Apprenticeships covering subjects such as manufacturing, maintenance, business improvement and inspection and testing.

Other organisations whose work is highlighted in the University Alliance report are Coventry, Liverpool John Moores, Aston and Lincoln Universities and The Technology Partnership.

Despite those success stories, the report concludes that progress has been slow in achieving deeper collaboration between employers and universities in STEM education in the UK.

Maddalaine Ansell, Chief Executive of University Alliance, said: "Employers want graduates with the knowledge and skills to hit the ground running and help their businesses grow. By collaborating with universities on developing courses and delivery, they can secure the workforce they need.

"We need to speed up progress to fill STEM skills gaps that continue to have a serious impact on the UK's economy.

"At the same time, substantial and long-term investment, policy stability, and crucially, incentives for employers, are essential to ensure the right level of collaboration and engagement between employers and universities."

The research on which the report is based was carried out as part of a project backed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England's Catalyst Fund, which aims to aims to drive innovation, enhance excellence and efficiency and support innovative solutions in the Higher Education sector.

The report is available online at

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