Record numbers of young people are seeking careers in advanced manufacturing and opting to earn as they learn by gaining places at the Rotherham-based Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
More than 130 teenagers have secured jobs and signed up for advanced apprenticeships at the Catcliffe-based centre, which is part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
That compares with around 70 at this time last year and, with a further intake scheduled for this month, bosses at the AMRC are confident that apprentice numbers will be up by 60 per cent or more at the start of the training year.
Numbers will rise even higher with further intakes planned for the new year to meet the needs of employers and to cater for young people who want to switch to more practical studies. In addition, the centre has started offering foundation degrees University studies, combined with higher apprenticeships covering subjects such as manufacturing, maintenance, business improvement and testing.
City region companies will be supporting at least 20 existing training centre apprentices and newcomers with A-levels.
Kerry Featherstone, head of operations, said: “The growth in our numbers is really encouraging and important for an advanced manufacturing sector that desperately needs young recruits with high level skills to fill the gaps that are being created by retirement. We hope that our new recruits will spread the message that advanced manufacturing offers a secure, well paid career.”