Boost for apprentice education

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TATA Steel has marked National Apprenticeship Week today, by officially opening a new engineering training centre for its own and other companies’ apprentices at its Stocksbridge plant.

The centre has been constructed inside what was a disused workshop and its launch follows a decision to bring training in house, instead of using external providers.

Mick Hood, human resources director for Tata Steel’s South Yorkshire-based speciality steels business, said: “Tata Steel is committed to investing in the long-term sustainability of the business and for that we need to train the next generation of engineers with specialist electrical and mechanical skills.

“This centre will enable us to deliver a bespoke training programme, equipping the apprentices with skills they will use throughout their careers.”

Tata has set up the centre following the success of a pilot scheme involving electrical apprentices.

Mechanical apprentices will now also be trained at Stocksbridge.

Tata is opening its new facility up to other companies that need their apprentices to have similar specialist skills.

The centre will provide specialist training designed to help members of the company’s engineering workforce to improve their skills and keep abreast of the latest developments in the UK steel industry and Tata Steel’s changing needs.

National Apprenticeship Week culminates today with a drop-in event and round-table discussion, organised by Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield, in the Cutlers’ Hall.

The event, 10am-1pm, is aimed at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and coincides with the launch of a service, run by the National Apprenticeships Service, for SMEs that want help or advice on taking on apprentices.