SOUTH Yorkshire’s claim to be the UK centre for hi-tech manufacturing has got a double boost from Sheffield’s two universities.
As Sheffield Hallam was launching a new Masters degree in Food and Drink Engineering, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg unveiled a training initiative involving Sheffield University and the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).
Sheffield Hallam beat a host of universities to be chosen by the Food and Drink Federation and the National Skills Academy to develop the new degree.
Head of Engineering and Mathematics Dr Martin Howarth said the degree would help food firms to recruit more engineers to run increasingly technologically advanced plants.
“The food and drink sector is not seen as the place for engineers to go and work, but some of the best technology is to be found there, ” said Dr Howarth.
“It is a challenging and exciting sector to work in, which is both very interesting and rewarding, intellectually and financially.”
One of the reasons Hallam was chosen is because it is already heavily involved in developing technology for the food and drink industries.
Projects have included recovering waste heat from bakery ovens and modelling the flow of thick liquids, which has applications in chocolate and pasta making.
The new Apprenticeship Pathways Initiataive, unveiled by Sheffield University and the MTA will help young people gain the engineering skills and commercial acumen they need to progress in advanced manufacturing careers.
Nick Clegg said: “Given our purpose-built facilities and growing advanced manufacturing industry, there is no better place to demonstrate the value of apprenticeships than in Sheffield.
“I am delighted to be backing this venture which will help 250 new apprenticeships every year.
“As a local Sheffield MP I’m proud that our region is at the forefront of this important way of helping our economy get back on track.”