MPs’ apprenticeships hearing in Sheffield

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Members of the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee arrive in Sheffield today as part of an inquiry they are conducting into apprenticeships.

The cross-party committee is visiting Sheffield Forgemasters and Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, where it will hold formal hearings tomorrow.

Among those giving evidence to the committee will be AMRC research director Professor Keith Ridgway, former industry minister Richard Caborn, Newburgh Engineering’s managing director Vince Middleton, Sharon Ward from Sheffield Forgemasters, Alison Bettac from Firth Rixson, Richard Cook from AESSEAL and Technology Strategy Board specialist in high value manufacturing Peter Flinn.

Select committee chairman Adrian Bailey said: “Sheffield is home to a number of significant organisations and employers offering innovative and meaningful apprenticeship schemes.

“This visit will allow the Committee to gain first-hand experience of how these schemes are operating in practice and takes evidence from a wide range of interested parties.”

Select Committee members will also attend this evening’s launch of The Master Cutler’s Challenge,” the annual charity fund raising challenge which will this year raise money to support the Cavendish Cancer Centre.

Richard Caborn, who invited Select Committee members to the challenge launch, said: “The Master Cutler’s Challenge is fast-becoming a major event in the Sheffield business calendar.

“All MPs on this visit have expressed a desire to meet as many local business people as possible during this fact-finding mission, and we know that many will be at this launch, so it makes good sense for us to attend to support the Cavendish Cancer Centre.”