The creation of the new AMRC Training Centre has been hailed as a milestone in the development of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre by Sheffield University’s acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul White.
“We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved so far and what will be achieved,” Prof White told more than 200 top industrialists attending the centre’s business launch.
“Three decades ago, Orgreave was a site of industrial conflict and the end of an economic regime. After the battles of Orgreave, what was left was dereliction.
“As a result of an alliance of business and the university we have seen the re-growth of this area, based on the future.
“I know this centre will provide absolutely crucial skills for the economy of this region for decades to come.
“The AMRC Training Centre is an integral part of the university’s forward looking approach to education and complements the vital work we already do to support SMEs and larger companies in the city-region, in particular through the AMRC and our world-leading Faculty of Engineering.
“It also reflects our long-standing commitment as a university to developing the talents of young people from all backgrounds, and to reaching out in new ways to support young people who have tremendous potential but who may be taking different routes into higher education.
“As a university founded with an explicit mission to provide both economic benefits and educational opportunity to local people, we are deeply proud of the fact that the AMRC Training Centre is a national leader in how young people might access training and employment opportunities in ways which also directly offer progression into a higher education of the highest quality.”
The Mayor of Rotherham, Coun John Foden, who began his working life as a joinery apprentice at crankshaft manufacturer Shardlows, said he was delighted to be at the launch of a centre that would make a difference for so many young apprentices.
The AMRC and the training centre put Rotherham at the forefront of innovation and development. The AMRC Training Centre would be both a world leader in learning and development and a flagship for the Government’s new ‘Catapult’ centres for manufacturing related research and development.
Like Prof White, Coun Foden recalled the history of the Orgeave site where the AMRC and its training centre now stand.
“We are looking at a site where the ‘dark, satanic mills’ of a coking plant once stood, a site that then became a hole in the ground for an open cast coal mine. See how the site has developed. Now there are 1,700 houses, schools, a shop and the Advanced Manufacturing Park. It’s really wonderful; it’s a fantastic place.”